ILO: Global unemployment rate to 'rise modestly' in 2024

Unemployment rate, jobs gap fell to pre-pandemic levels in 2023

ILO: Global unemployment rate to 'rise modestly' in 2024

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is warning that the global unemployment rate could go up in 2024 after falling to pre-pandemic levels in 2023.

The ILO's World Employment and Social Outlook Trends: 2024 (WESO Trends) revealed that global unemployment rate hit 5.1% in 2023, lower than the 5.3% in 2022.

"Despite the economic slowdown, global growth in 2023 was modestly higher than anticipated, and labour markets showed surprising resilience," the report said.

However, it also warned that two million people are expected to be looking for jobs this 2024, which could raise the global unemployment rate to 5.2%.

"Unemployment is expected to rise modestly in 2024: as labour force participation rates decline and employment growth slows, global unemployment will rise by two million," the WESO Trends said.

Global jobs gap

The global jobs gap, which is the number of persons without employment who are interested in finding a job, also declined to pre-pandemic levels, according to the WESO Trends.

"The global jobs gap also saw improvements in 2023, but, at close to 435 million, remained elevated," the report said.

The jobs gap rate was also higher for lower-income nations with 20.5% in 2023, while it was at 8.2% higher-income countries.

Meanwhile, working poverty is also likely to persist, the report warned.

In 2023, the number of workers living in extreme poverty grew by about one million, while those living in moderate poverty went up by 8.4 million.

ILO Director-General Gilbert Houngbo said the report indicates that these imbalances are not simply part of pandemic recovery but structural in nature.

"The workforce challenges it detects pose a threat to both individual livelihoods and businesses and it is essential that we tackle them effectively and fast," Houngbo said in a statement.

"Falling living standards and weak productivity combined with persistent inflation create the conditions for greater inequality and undermine efforts to achieve social justice."

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