The global unemployment rate increased further last year. Indeed, there were 202 million unemployed in 2013, 5 million more than in 2012. This is what the 2014 Report from the International Labour Organization (ILO) reveals on global employment trends.
Last year, the most significant increase in unemployment was recorded in South Asia and East Asia, these two regions alone accounting for 45% in the increase in the number of unemployed. They were followed by sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. Conversely, Latin America only saw unemployment rise by 1% compared to 2012. Generally speaking, the 2008 crisis continues to strongly impact the global employment market. The situation is unlikely to improve in the future. Unemployment is indeed expected to exceed 215 million unemployed by 2018. This situation is quite different in Canada, since like Japan and Germany, the country has seen the number of its unemployed drop. The Canadian rate has therefore dropped from 7.2% to 7.1% from 2012 to 2013 and should stay low this year according to forecasts from the ILO to stagnate at 7% until 2015.
An ever greater employment shortfall
Regarding the planet’s shortfall of employment, there were 62 million in 2013, consisting of 32 million new job applicants, 23 million discouraged people no longer looking for work and 7 million inactive. And although 40 million hobs should be created each year to 2018, the lack of jobs is likely to grow nonetheless. And for good reason: the number of persons entering the labour market each year should be 42.6 million, according to the ILO. The unemployment rate is expected to stagnate and stay a half point above the percentage preceding the crisis, in the next five years. In Canada, the number of job applicants remains stable at 151,400 in 2012 and 2013.
13.1% of young people unemployed
The 15-24 age group is the segment of the population most affected by unemployment. In 2013, there were 74.5 million seeking work, one million more than in 2012. Their unemployment rate worldwide was 13/1% last year, a rate three times higher than older age groups. In Canada, young people who were neither working nor in training represented 14% of the 15-29 year old age group in 2007 and 15% in 2012. In addition, the duration of unemployed has lengthened significantly and has doubled compared to that recorded before 2008. In the euro zone, for example, it reached 9 months in Greece and 8 months in Spain. Countries where the recovery has been stronger have not been spared either, with long term unemployment affecting more than 40% of job seekers in the United States. In Canada however, although the duration of unemployment was slightly higher at 4 months in 2010 and 2011, it fell to less than 4 months in 2012. The situation affects the public finances of the countries concerned, which are forced to raise taxes. Another consequence is that the long term unemployed steadily lose their skills, which makes their reintegration and professional reorientation even more difficult.
48% of jobs precarious
Independent and unpaid family workers considered precarious constituted 48% of total employment in 2013. These are those who have limited access or almost non-existent access to social security and a secure income. The number of people in a precarious work situation grew 1% compared to 2012 and even worse multiplied by five since the recession. However, the number of poor workers has decreased in recent years. There were 375 million workers living on $ 1.25 US per day and 839 million subsisting on $ 2 US in 2013, compared to 600 million and 1.1 billion in the 2000s. Last year, they represented 11.9% and 26.7% respectively of total employment.
The ILO notes that viable solutions exist. These range from a readjustment of macroeconomic policies to higher income. According to a simulation developed by the G20, readjustment would allow unemployment to be reduced 1.8% by 2020, representing 6.1 million jobs created. In addition, states should review their financing of measures in favor of increased employment. If OECD countries were to spend 1.2% of their GDP on stimulating the labour market, instead of the 0.6% they currently spend, close to 4 million hobs could be created in developed countries and the members of the European Union. The effort could pay off and the states must therefore consider it.