The United Nations says an economic slowdown will force workers into lower-paid jobs

Global unemployment is expected to reach 208 million people this year. (file)


The United Nations warned, Monday, that the global economic slowdown will force more workers to accept low-quality, low-paying jobs in 2023, while inflation leads to an increase in real wages.

The UN’s International Labor Organization said that with prices rising faster than incomes, the cost-of-living crisis risks pushing more people into poverty, while unemployment rates are expected to rise around the world.

The International Labor Organization said the decent work deficit has been exacerbated by multiple and overlapping crises, including the Russian war in Ukraine, emerging geopolitical tensions, an uneven recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and persistent bottlenecks in the supply chain.

“Together, these conditions have created conditions of stagflation – high inflation and low growth at the same time – for the first time since the 1970s,” the agency said in its annual report on global employment and social outlook.

ILO Director-General Gilbert Hongbo said the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly uneven in low- and middle-income countries, and has been hampered by climate change and humanitarian challenges.

“Forecasts of a slowdown in economic growth and employment in 2023 indicate that most countries will fail to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels for the foreseeable future,” the former Togolese prime minister said in the report.

“Worse, progress on labor markets is likely to be too slow to reduce the massive decent work deficit that existed before the pandemic and has been exacerbated by it.”

There is no cure for covid before 2025

Global employment grew 2.3 percent last year, but is expected to expand just 1 percent this year, to nearly 3.4 billion people in employment.

The expected rise was down from the 1.5 percent rate previously forecast by the International Labor Organization, adding to the bleak outlook.

“The slowdown in global employment growth means that we do not expect losses incurred during the COVID-19 crisis to recover before 2025,” Richard Samans, head of research at the International Labor Organization, said in a statement.

Global unemployment is expected to reach 208 million people this year, with an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent.

The forecast rises from 205 million in 2022, with the International Labor Organization saying most of the shock from the economic slowdown was absorbed by the “rapid decline in real wages” due to accelerating inflation, rather than job losses.

The global unemployment rate reached 192 million in 2019 before rising to 235 million in 2020 with the outbreak of the COVID pandemic.

Meanwhile, the global job gap reached 473 million in 2022.

This figure includes unemployment as well as those who want to work but are not looking for a job, either out of frustration over previous failed attempts or because of other obligations such as caring responsibilities.

The global job gap for 2022 was about 33 million jobs higher than the 2019 level, at 15 percent for women and 10.5 percent for men.

informal economies

“The current slowdown means that many workers will have to accept jobs of lower quality, often at very low wages, and sometimes with inadequate working hours,” said the ILO.

The report said that people between the ages of 15 and 24 faced “extreme difficulties” in finding and maintaining decent work.

The International Labor Organization has called for increased investment in education and training, saying two-thirds of the global youth workforce “lack a basic set of skills”, limiting their employment opportunities and pushing them into low-quality work.

About two billion workers worldwide were in informal jobs last year.

“Given the significant rise in uncertainty about the future course of the global economy, the expansion of employment is fastest among informal workers,” the ILO said, with the informal sector driving most of the Covid-19 employment recovery.

In 2022, an estimated 214 million workers, or 6.4 percent of all employees, were living in extreme poverty, earning less than the equivalent of $1.90 a day.

The long-term slowdown in productivity growth in developed countries has spilled over into major emerging economies, the report said – “a matter of great concern” because productivity growth could battle simultaneous crises in purchasing power, welfare and environmental sustainability.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by the Alendronaterx staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)

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