ILO: Uneven job recovery poses challenges to most countries

Employment centre in France. ILO PHOTO

The number of unemployed worldwide is expected to increase by a further 8 million people over the next two years to reach to 208 million, as the slow recovery from the financial crisis continues, according to the International labour organization (ILO).

In its latest World of Work report, ILO says emerging and developing countries are experiencing rising employment and narrowing income inequalities compared to their high-income counterparts.

The report however, says the gap between rich and poor in most low and middle income countries remains wide and many families that have managed to rise above the poverty line are at risk of lapsing.

The report shows that middle income groups in many developed economies are shrinking, fuelled in part by long term unemployment, weakening job quality and workers dropping out of the labour market.

Raymond Torres, Director of the ILO based International Institute for Labour Studies outlines some of challenges holding back job recovery.

"Much of the strategy until now has been about short term measures to address the crisis, but clearly there is a long term challenge to repair the economic and social fabric. From the economic point of view profits have retrieved the pre crisis situation- profits of large enterprises, but investment is not picking up as fast. There is a disconnect between profits and investments. Another important element of rebuilding the economic fabric, is the growing gape gap that has emerged between the small and large enterprises, it seems as small enterprises are disproportionately affected by the financial element of the crisis. They have less access to credit markets. They have more difficulty taking advantage of globalization than larger enterprises so here there is a growing economic divide." 

Torres says improving investment activity is crucial to enabling firms to take advantage of new opportunities, expand and hire new employees.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

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