Economy

Global unemployment to hit 212m by 2019

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The United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO) has warned that global unemployment will increase over the next five years and widening income inequalities could spur unrest in many societies.

In its latest forecast, World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2015, the UN agency cautions that a slowdown in economic growth means more jobs will be lost, predicting that by 2019, the number of unemployed people will increase to 212 million, up from the current 201 million.

The report highlights a worrying new trend in advanced economies, particularly in the eurozone, as well as a disappointing slowdown in poorer countries with regard to tackling inequality.

In its outlook, the ILO predicts income inequality will continue to widen. As it stands right now, the richest 10% earn 30-40% of the total income while the poorest 10% earn only around 2% of the total income.

The Geneva-based UN body is warning that low wages means consuming less, and frustrated young people will suffer the most from the financial crisis and its consequences, which can cause social unrest.

“Social unrest has gradually increased as joblessness persists. It tended to decline before the global crisis and has increased since then. Countries facing high or rapidly rising youth unemployment are especially vulnerable to social unrest,” the report added.

The ILO had previously forecast a global unemployment rate of 5.9% this year and next, compared with 5.5% before the global financial crisis in 2007.

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