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ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook Report

Why is it in the news?

  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has released the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2024 report.
About ILO

·       The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is a United Nations Agency established in 1919.

·       It became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946.

·       It has 187 Member states and operates as the only tripartite U.N. agency, bringing together governments, employers, and workers.

·       The ILO sets labour standards, develops policies, and promotes decent work for all women and men.

·       It produces major reports such as World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO), Global Wage Report, World Social Protection Report, World Employment and Social Outlook for Youth, and World of Work Report.

Major Takeaways from the Report

  • The ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2024 report highlights a macroeconomic deterioration in 2023.
  • According to the report, geopolitical tensions and widespread inflation triggered aggressive moves by central banks globally.
  • The fastest increase in interest rates since the 1980s was implemented by monetary authorities in advanced and emerging economies.
  • China, Türkiye, and Brazil experienced significant economic slowdowns, impacting global industrial activity, investment, and trade.

Labor Market Statistics (2023):

  • Joblessness and the jobs gap fell below pre-pandemic levels.
  • Despite the economic slowdown, global growth in 2023 exceeded expectations, and labour markets demonstrated surprising resilience.
  • The global unemployment rate in 2023 was 1%, a modest improvement from 2022.
  • Labor market participation rates largely recovered from pandemic lows.

Concerns and Challenges:

  • Structural imbalances in the labour market are a rising concern, potentially being more than cyclical.
  • Real wages declined in the majority of G20 countries, failing to keep pace with inflation.
  • In 2023, the number of workers living in extreme poverty increased by about one million globally, with only a few countries experiencing positive real wage growth.

Suggestions from the Report

  • Policymakers in fast-ageing countries should support the participation of groups with weak labour market attachment, including youth, women, and older workers.
  • Investment and skills policies are crucial for raising productivity, facilitating technological progress, and enhancing potential growth.
  • Motivating workers who left low-paying and difficult sectors may be achieved through improvements in working conditions.
  • Ensuring internationally mobile workers are matched to suitable jobs could alleviate shortages.
  • Recognizing that structural challenges won’t disappear in the short term, governments and social partners should engage in supplemental efforts to address these labour market issues.

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