World jobless numbers rise, says UN labour agency

Protesters in Los Angeles holding signs saying "I Want to Work". File photo The ILO said that 6% of the world's workforce were without a job in 2012

The number of jobless people around the world rose by 4 million in 2012 to 197 million and is expected to grow further, the UN labour agency warns.

In a report, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said the worst affected were youth: nearly 13% of the under 24s were unemployed.

It said global unemployment was projected to rise 5.1 million this year and by a further 3 million in 2014.

The trend reflected a downturn in economic growth, the document said.

This was particularly the case in developed countries.

'Massive waste'

The report - Global Employment Trends 2013 - said that 6% of the world's workforce were without a job in 2012.

It revealed that long-term unemployment was also growing, pointing out that a third of Europe's jobless had been without work for more than a year.

Many were giving up, with the report estimating that 39 million people had withdrawn from the labour market.

"An uncertain economic outlook, and the inadequacy of policy to counter this, has weakened aggregate demand, holding back investment and hiring," ILO director general Guy Ryder said.

The report also called for more funds to be injected in vocational training to equip young people to do the jobs available.

"This is a massive waste of the lives of young people and their talents, and extraordinarily damaging to the people themselves and their societies," Mr Ryder said.

The ILO pointed out that countries which had retained apprenticeships - such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland - had the lowest levels of youth unemployment.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 111.

    Some jobs will never come back to the people and countries that once had them because outsourcing is too profitable for many businesses. That means retraining people for what there is but since businesses require immediate knowhow in workers for production and profitablity, rather than apprenticeships, people tend to stay unemployed and unemployable and they get older. The bad side of capitalism.

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    It's a shame. The longest ive been without work/education was 4 months and i thought that was bad. Id hate to ever be in a position like these poor people and with the extra cuts that are being imposed on them as well as the arrogance of alot of people (oh they dont deserve so much pay) yeah, lets wait till you get made redundant, cant find a job and then have to scrape up your pennies to eat.

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    With a rising global population, plus productivity improvements from new technology reducing the demand for labour this really should not be that surprising.

    Factor in rising inequality and growth in the production of luxury goods (yes an iPhone is a luxury) and this is compounded.

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    There would be enough work for everyone if everyone worked shorter hours and the profits were shared fairly among the workers .
    The boss should not 'earn' 400 times the lowest paid employee.
    We will never be economically sound with a low wage part time work force subsidized by the tax payer.

    The wealth of nations built on the backs of the workers who built them have been grabbed by the few.

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    Does this not tell us that the educatino of young people in out-of-sync. They need skills training, apprentichship training. They do not need to waste twelve years learning essnetially nothing aimed at employment.
    We need to geer education towards the demands of the future.
    Education must not be babysitting, but training.


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