70 million youths risk unemployment this year – ILO

70 million youths risk unemployment this year – ILOThe International Labour Organisation has warned that the slow economic growth globally will render 70 million young women and men unemployed this year.

The organisation added that global economic growth in 2017 and 2018 would be insufficient to start reducing global unemployment, which is expected to rise to 201 million in the period.

Speaking at the International Monetary and Financial Committee meeting, the ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, noted that prolonged period of slow growth since the global financial crisis was damaging productivity.

According to him, policies are needed to revive the positive relationship between productivity and real wage growth through increased investment, innovation, sustainable enterprise creation and decent work.

Ryder said, “The ILO is projecting that global unemployment will increase by 3.4 million in 2017 to reach a level in excess of 201 million. The increase in global unemployment is concentrated in emerging economies and reflects the continuing effects of deep recessions in 2015 and 2016 in several countries.

“Recent research on the impact of imports from China and Mexico on jobs in the USA shows that in localities where a major industrial employer has become exposed to increased imports, employment and wages fell both in the affected industry and the local economy. When the economy is growing, most job leavers find a new job quickly; but in periods of slow growth, it takes longer.”

The ILO DG noted that most countries lacked social protection systems for their workers, exposing them to vulnerable employment in the informal sector.

He added that the progress made in reducing the vulnerable employment in 2001 had been stalled by the weak economic growth.

He said, “Between 2000 and 2010, significant progress was made in reducing the proportion of workers in vulnerable employment, contributing to the parallel reduction in the incidence of extreme poverty. This was a period of robust growth and rising incomes in most developing countries.

“More recently, this progress has slowed significantly or stalled altogether. The rate of vulnerable employment is expected to decline by less than 0.2 percentage points a year in 2017 and 2018, leaving some 1.4 billion people worldwide in chronically poor quality jobs.

“The absence of enough decent work opportunities is dangerously destabilising for economic, social, environmental and political development and jeopardises realisation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.”

Speaking on income inequality, Ryder explained that an ILO research indicated a correlation between declining labour income shares, rising income inequality and slow growth.

“Inequality between women and men persists in global labour markets, in respect of opportunities, treatment and outcomes. Over the last two decades, women’s significant progress in educational achievements has not translated into a comparable improvement in their position at work. In many regions in the world, women are more likely to become and remain unemployed, have fewer chances to participate in the labour force and, when they do, often have to accept lower quality jobs,” he added.

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