ILO Report: Global Unemployment to Dip Slightly in 2024, Inequalities Persist

Globally, only 45.6 percent of working-age women are employed in 2024, contrasting sharply with 69.2 percent of men.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Geneva | Updated: 30-05-2024 12:21 IST | Created: 30-05-2024 12:21 IST
ILO Report: Global Unemployment to Dip Slightly in 2024, Inequalities Persist
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According to the latest International Labour Organization (ILO) report, global unemployment is projected to experience a modest decline this year, albeit with persistent inequalities prevailing in labour markets, particularly impacting women in low-income countries.

The ILO's World Employment and Social Outlook: May 2024 Update forecasts the global unemployment rate for 2024 to be 4.9 percent, down from 5.0 percent in 2023, revising the previous projection of 5.2 percent. However, the report anticipates a stabilization of the downward trend in 2025, with unemployment remaining at 4.9 percent.

Despite this slight improvement, the report underscores the enduring challenge of limited employment opportunities. The ILO highlights a significant 'jobs gap', estimating that in 2024, there are 402 million individuals without jobs but seeking employment, including 183 million officially classified as unemployed.

ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo emphasizes the persistent disparities in the labour market, particularly for women, stating, "Despite our efforts to mitigate global inequalities, disparities persist, especially for women. Achieving a sustainable recovery that benefits all necessitates inclusive policies addressing the needs of all workers. Inclusion and social justice must be central to our policies and institutions to ensure robust and inclusive development."

Detailed insights from the report reveal that women, particularly in low-income nations, bear the brunt of limited opportunities. The jobs gap for women in low-income countries stands at a staggering 22.8 percent, compared to 15.3 percent for men. This gap widens in high-income countries, where it reaches 9.7 percent for women and 7.3 percent for men.

Moreover, the report highlights the significant gender disparity in labour market participation, attributing much of it to family responsibilities. Globally, only 45.6 percent of working-age women are employed in 2024, contrasting sharply with 69.2 percent of men.

Even when employed, women continue to face wage disparities, particularly pronounced in low-income countries. While women in high-income nations earn seventy-three cents for every dollar earned by men, this ratio plummets to just forty-four cents in low-income countries.

Furthermore, progress in poverty reduction and informality, as outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, has decelerated compared to the previous decade. The report notes a surge in informal employment, rising from approximately 1.7 billion workers in 2005 to 2.0 billion in 2024. Urgent action is required to adopt a comprehensive approach to poverty reduction and inequality to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the report concludes.

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