Business & Markets

Global Unemployment Rate to Hit 5.2% in 2024 – ILO

Global Unemployment Rate to Hit 5.2% in 2024 – ILO

The International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations (UN) agency for the world of work, has said the global unemployment rate is expected to increase to 5.2 per cent in 2024.

In its 2024 forecast, ILO stated that, labour markets have shown surprising resilience despite deteriorating economic conditions, but recovery from the pandemic remains uneven as new vulnerabilities and multiple crises are eroding prospects for greater social justice.

ILO director-general, Gilbert F. Houngbo, who made this known, noted that, the World Employment and Social Outlook Trends: 2024 (WESO Trends) finds that both the unemployment rate and the jobs gap rate – which is the number of persons without employment who are interested in finding a job – have fallen below pre-pandemic levels.

The 2023 global unemployment rate stood at 5.1 per cent, a modest improvement from 2022 when it stood at 5.3 per cent. The global jobs gap and labour market participation rates also improved in 2023.

However, beneath these numbers, fragility is starting to emerge, the report finds. It projects that the labour market outlook and global unemployment will both worsen, according to the world labour organisation body.

“In 2024 an extra two million workers are expected to be looking for jobs, raising the global unemployment rate from 5.1 per cent in 2023 to 5.2 per cent.

“Disposable incomes have declined in the majority of G20 countries and, generally, the erosion of living standards resulting from inflation is unlikely to be compensated quickly,” he stressed.

Furthermore, important differences persist between higher and lower income countries.

While the jobs gap rate in 2023 was 8.2 per cent in high-income countries, it stood at 20.5 per cent in the low-income group. Similarly, while the 2023 unemployment rate persisted at 4.5 per cent in high-income countries, it was 5.7 per cent in low-income countries.

Moreover, working poverty is likely to persist. Despite quickly declining after 2020, the number of workers living in extreme poverty (earning less than $2.15 per person per day in purchasing power parity terms) grew by about 1 million in 2023. the number of workers living in moderate poverty (earning less than $3.65 per day per person in PPP terms) increased by 8.4 million in 2023.

Furthermore, Houngbo stated that 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. “Falling living standards and weak productivity combined with persistent inflation create the conditions for greater inequality and undermine efforts to achieve social justice. And without greater social justice we will never have a sustainable recovery,” he added.

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