Monday, February 17, 2014

Bleak jobs outlook - 4.2 million more people will be unemployed in 2014

Weak global growth had a cascading effect on hiring activities across most regions in 2013, says the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Global Employment Trends 2014 report. Notwithstanding a 1.9 per cent rise in South Asia hiring, employment rates saw a decline in most parts of the world in 2013. Nevertheless, the increase in South Asia recruitment was sufficient to make up for the slippage, resulting in the global employment growth rate remaining unchanged at 1.4 per cent last year.
The ILO expects the global unemployment rate to increase from 6 per cent in 2013 to 6.1 per cent in 2014. It has also projected that the number of unemployed will rise by 4.2 million during the year. Despite signs of economic recovery in developed economies, the job market continues to be lacklustre. While the unemployment rate is expected to gradually decline, by 2018, it will still be around 8 per cent – much above pre-crisis levels.
Unemployment rates in non-EU countries and the Commonwealth of Independent States have been decreasing since 2009. But this witnessed a reversal in 2013, with a 0.2 percentage point increase in the number of people without jobs. It’s possible that job growth may remain muted in the future too. In the South-East Asian and Pacific region (including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand), hiring activities grew by 1.6 per cent in 2013.

East Asia (including China, Hong Kong and Korea) saw 0.7 per cent employment growth. Despite the fastest growth in employment in 2013 and an unemployment rate averaging only 4 per cent, all is not well with South Asian labour markets, including India. This is because a large part of the jobs are in the poorly paid and unprotected informal sector, which is unlikely to change in the near term.

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