Insufficient paid work affects half a billion people – ILO

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Mr Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO).

The International Labour Organization (ILO) says, insufficient paid work affects almost half a billion people in the world.

Mr Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General, disclosed this in the latest edition of the ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2020 (WESO) report made available to newsmen in Abuja, Nigeria.

According to him, lack of decent work combined with rising unemployment and persisting inequality is making it increasingly difficult for people to build better lives through their work.

“Almost half a billion people are working fewer paid hours than they will like or lack adequate access to paid work. In addition, the report shows that unemployment is projected to increase by around 2.5 million in 2020.

“Global unemployment has been roughly stable for the last nine years but slowing global economic growth means that, as the global labour force increases, not enough new jobs are being generated to absorb new entrants to the labour market.

“For millions of ordinary people, it is increasingly difficult to build better lives through work,”  he said.

Ryder noted that persisting and substantial work-related inequalities and exclusion were preventing them from finding decent work and better futures.

He added that this is an extremely serious finding that has profound and worrying implications for social cohesion:

“For millions of ordinary people, it is increasingly difficult to build better lives through work.”

The ILO Director-General also said the WESO report showed that the mismatch between labour supply and demand extends beyond unemployment into broader labour under-utilization.

He further said that in total, more than 470 million people worldwide were affected, and called on all to tackle labour market inequalities and gaps in order to have access to decent work.

Mr Stefan Kühn, lead author of the report, cautioned that intensifying trade restrictions and protectionism could have a significant impact on employment, both directly and indirectly.

According to him, a cursory look at economic growth showed that the current pace and form of growth was hampering efforts to reduce poverty and improve working conditions in low-income countries.

 

Amaka E. Nliam