The global unemployment rate is stabilizing after years in a slump due to a faltering economy, the International Labor Organization reports in “World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2018.”
However, unemployment — which the ILO says stands at more than 192 million people globally — is expected remain persistently high in many parts of the world.
The ILO reports that unemployment in wealthier countries is expected to drop to 5.5 percent this year, the lowest rate since 2007.
The labor situation has improved in emerging and developing economies, as well. However, the report warns that employment growth in these countries will not keep pace with the increased numbers of people entering the labor market.
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder expressed concern that low-quality employment is on the rise. He says nearly 1.4 billion people are in vulnerable jobs, meaning they work in difficult conditions for low wages with little security, and that three out of four workers in developing countries are holding down such jobs.
“Very much more effort needs to be made to improve the quality of jobs,” he said. “Despite the uptick in economic and employment growth, which is welcome, working conditions are failing to improve for a very large share of the global workforce. In addition, the projected employment growth in the service sector can be expected to make only a limited contribution to the improvement of job quality.”
The report notes that working poverty — defined as having income below the poverty line — is falling in emerging countries, but in developing nations, progress in this area is too slow to keep up with the expanding labor force. It says the number of people living in extreme poverty — at less than $3 a day — is expected to remain at more than 114 million for the coming years.
The report’s authors say the gender gap remains wide, with women more likely to have lower-quality jobs and lower salaries than men.