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Global Unemployment to Decline Slightly In 2024 – UN Agency Reports



(CTN News) – The global unemployment rate is expected to decline slightly in 2024, according to a report released on May 29 by the International Labour Organization (ILO), reversing earlier predictions of an increase.

The Geneva-based UN agency now anticipates the unemployment rate to be 4.9% this year, down from an earlier forecast of 5.2%. This is a slight improvement from the 5% recorded in 2023. The ILO also projects that the rate will remain stable at 4.9% into 2025.

However, the ILO warns that significant disparities persist in labor markets, particularly affecting women in low-income countries. The report highlights that 183 million people globally are classified as unemployed—actively seeking work and available to start.

Yet, an additional 402 million people are without a job and want to work, underscoring the broader issue of underemployment.

Global Unemployment: Persistent Inequalities

The ILO report emphasizes that women are disproportionately affected by unemployment and lack of job opportunities. In low-income countries, the unemployment rate for women who wish to work is 22.8%, compared to 15.3% for men.

This disparity is also present in high-income countries, although at lower rates: 9.7% for women versus 7.3% for men.

These statistics reveal a broader issue beyond those actively seeking employment. The ILO cautions that the figures represent just “the tip of the iceberg,” as women are significantly more likely than men to exit the labor force entirely.

Women’s Employment Outlook

Globally, the employment rate for women of working age is projected to be 45.6% in 2024, starkly lower than the 69.2% employment rate for men. This gap underscores the ongoing challenges in achieving gender parity in labor markets worldwide.

“Despite our efforts to reduce global inequalities, the labor market remains an uneven playing field,” said ILO Director-General Gilbert Houngbo in a press release.

“To achieve a sustainable recovery whose benefits are shared by all… we must place inclusion and social justice at the core of our policies and institutions.”

Need for Inclusive Policies

The ILO report calls for a renewed focus on policies that promote inclusion and social justice to address these disparities.

The agency stresses the importance of targeted measures to support women in the workforce, particularly in low-income regions where the gender gap is most pronounced.

The ILO, established in 1919, is the oldest specialized agency of the United Nations. It aims to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, and enhance social protection.

By bringing together governments, employers, and workers, the ILO works to foster dialogue and cooperation to tackle global labor challenges.

While the slight decline in global unemployment rates is a positive sign, the ILO’s report underscores the persistent and deep-rooted inequalities in labor markets.

Addressing these disparities requires concerted efforts to create inclusive and equitable employment opportunities, particularly for women in low-income countries.

The call for placing social justice at the heart of policy-making is critical for achieving a sustainable and fair recovery in the global labor market.

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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