Looking at current global unemployment trends, the International Labor Organization has some bad news. Global unemployment will increase from 200 million people now to 208 million in 2015.
Analysis in ILO's new World of Work report shows that 37 percent of the countries analyzed saw employment rise compared to 33 percent of countries that had decreasing employment. ILO also predicts that the employment rate for emerging and developing economies will return to pre-crisis levels in 2015 and advanced economies will eventually hit their pre-crisis levels in 2017. Some good news, right? But the only reason they'll get back to those marks is that more people are dropping out of the labor force, no longer looking for work. More than half of the countries analyzed had decreased labor participation rates between 2007 and 2012.
What's even more discouraging is that wealthy economies which are creating the most jobs also rank low on ILO's job quality index which measures the percentage of temporary employees, the change in social benefits expenditure, and the growth in the average hourly wages between 2007 and 2011. Ideally, countries would want to create more high quality jobs, like South Korea or Poland are doing. As the graph below from ILO's report shows, that's not happening across the board.
Emerging economies are doing a better job at creating more high quality jobs, but they're also trending toward creating more lower quality jobs. Hit hardest in this measure is Greece. The country not only had poor labor market performance but also had an increase of temporary worker along with an 8.9 percent fall in average hourly wages.
And here's why it all matters:
Social unrest increased in a majority of economies relative to the pre-crisis period. More generally, out of 71 economies for which information is available, the risk of social unrest increased in 46 of them between 2011 and 2012. The risk of social unrest is the highest among the EU-27 countries – it increased from 34 percent in 2006/07 to 46 percent in 2011/12.
Photo: Flickr/Michael Fleshman