Outlook for global labour market worsens, ILO says

construction workers in New York
Image caption The ILO report said that the 2009 recovery in the labour market was short-lived

The outlook for the global labour market has worsened from last year, the International Labour Organization (ILO) says.

It called the situation an "urgent challenge" and said governments needed to create 600 million jobs over the next decade.

The ILO said it was more pessimistic because of the weaker global economy.

It added that globally some 1.1 billion people were either unemployed or living in poverty.

One bright spot was the ILO's finding that job creation was pushed up by good economic conditions in large emerging economies in Latin America and East Asia.

Growth concern

The ILO made its claims in its annual Global Employment Trends report.

"Despite strenuous government efforts, the jobs crisis continues unabated, with one in three workers worldwide, or an estimated 1.1bn people, either unemployed or living in poverty," said ILO director-general Juan Somavia.

The ILO cited three years of crisis conditions in the global labour market as the reason for its worsening assessment.

"Our forecast has become much more pessimistic than last year's, with the possibility of a serious deceleration of the growth rate," said the ILO's senior economist Ekkehard Ernst.

"Discouraged workers"

In its report, the ILO said that there are 29 million fewer workers in the global labour force than they forecast before the economic slowdown started in 2009.

Those 29 million people are referred to as "discouraged workers", or people that have decided to stop looking for work because they think they are unlikely to find a job.

If these discouraged workers were counted in the total jobless figures, then that would push the global unemployment rate to 6.9% from 6%, the ILO said. That is about 225 million people worldwide.

The ILO also added that young people continue to be among the worst hit by the jobs crisis and that future prospects for them are bleak.

"Judging by the present course, there is little hope for a substantial improvement in their near-term employment prospects," the report said.