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Global Unemployment Predicted to Jump by 3.4 million in 2017


The number of unemployed people around the world will grow by 3.4 million to 201 million this year, according to the ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2017 (WESO).



The number of unemployed persons around the world is expected reach 201 million, as the pace of labour force growth outstrips job creation, according to the ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2017 (WESO). The global unemployment rate is expected to increase modestly from 5.7 last year to 5.8 percent.


“We are facing the twin challenge of repairing the damage caused by the global economic and social crisis and creating quality jobs for the tens of millions of new labour market entrants every year,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.


Unemployment, vulnerable employment and working poverty trends and projections, 2016–18

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Note: Figures for 2017 and 2018 are projections. * World aggregates for working poverty exclude developed countries.  Source: ILO’s Trends Econometric Models, November 2016.


The annual labour trends report estimates that 42.8 percent or 1.4 billion people worldwide remains in vulnerable forms of work. Today, fewer than one in four of the world’s workers are employed in the standard employment model. In some advanced economies, wages and salaried employment have been on a downward trend. This means that self-employment and other forms of employment outside the scope of the traditional employer-employee arrangement are increasing. The number of workers in vulnerable employment is projected to grow by 11 million per year, principally in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
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Weakening labour market conditions in emerging countries – especially heavy hitters Brazil and Russia economies contract — is the main driver of the increase in unemployment levels and rates.  Meanwhile, unemployment is actually expected to decrease modestly in developed countries. High unemployment rates among youth and gender disparities in employment rate continue to persist, especially in Arab States and Northern Africa.


Working poverty rate, which is defined as the share of employed population in extreme or moderate poverty, i.e. with per capita income or consumption of less than USD$3.10 per day, is expected to continue its long-term decline this year, falling to 28.7 percent this year from 29.4 in 2016. That adds up to 776 million people among the working poor in 2017.



World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2017

UN Radio: Global Unemployment Rate Expected to Rise by 3.4 million: ILO


Kai Hsin Hung

Kai-Hsin Hung is an External Collaborator with the ITC-ILO. He develops and designs curriculum and prototypes new sustainable learning solutions. His focus is innovation and knowledge synthesis of complex development challenges, including the future of work, food security, and climate change. He has broad experience in various roles in international advocacy, program management, and policy research at the International Development Research Centre and Global Affairs Canada. Follow him at @KaiHsinHung

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