News / Africa

    ILO: World Needs 600 Million Jobs Within 10 Years

    Joe DeCapua

    The International Labor Organization says the world faces an urgent challenge of creating 600 million productive jobs over the next decade. It says those jobs are needed to generate sustainable growth after three years of continuous crisis conditions in global labor markets.

    2011

    The International Labor Organization says the year begins with the world facing a “serious job challenge and widespread decent work deficits.” It’s released its annual report – Global Employment Trends 2012: Preventing a Deeper Jobs Crisis.

    The ILO said there is a backlog of global employment of 200 million. At the same time, the report says 400 million new jobs will be needed over 10 years to avoid another rise in unemployment.

    “2011 in terms of employment was not a very good year. We still have not recovered from the big economic and financial crisis in terms of job creation. While at the same time all the new crises we’ve seen in 2011 further put pressure on labor markets. So, overall we’ve seen very little improvement. And if it continues like that we won’t be back to pre-crisis levels for a long time,” said Dorothea Schmidt, an ILO senior employment specialist based in Cairo.

    Young people continue to be the hardest hit with few near-term job prospects. Nearly 75 million youth, between the ages of 15 and 24, were unemployed in 2011. That’s an increase of more than 4 million since 2007.

    Schmidt said, “Young people are usually the last ones to enter labor markets and they are always the first ones to exit them. This has to do with the lack of their experience. It also has to do with the lack of respect that people have for younger people because they always think they are not ready yet to do a good job.”

    Also, the jobs that are available are often not in line with the training or education young people have received.

    Sub-Saharan Africa

    Sub-Saharan Africa has done much better than many other regions during the global recession. But Schmidt says despite that, the economic growth has not translated into more decent jobs.

    “If we see job growth in many of the economies in sub-Saharan Africa, it only happens in the informal sector. And this is exactly the sector that does not create decent jobs,” she said.

    Schmidt said the majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa still work in agriculture. Many are actually unpaid family members. The region has a very high rate of working poor.

    “You have a job, but still you live with your family with less than one dollar per person per day. And that is really extreme poverty. And this is really the case for a lot of people in that region. We talk about 38.1 percent of people working, but still living in poverty,” she said.

    Arab Spring

    Meanwhile, North Africa is also facing a severe shortfall of decent jobs.

    “Even before the Arab Spring,” Schmidt said, “there were a lot of challenges regarding labor markets. And now the Arab Spring has put a lot of pressure on economies. We see a very, very slow recovery from the Arab Spring event in terms of economic growth in Egypt. It looks a bit better in Tunisia. But also neighboring countries suffered a lot from it and the recovery is just very, very, very slow.”

    The ILO described North Africa as one of the worst places in the world for young women to find jobs. Schmidt blames this on cultural issues and a false belief about women workers.

    “If women would work they would take away jobs from men. And given that young men don’t find jobs they try to stop women from entering the labor market. But as a matter of fact, this is never the case. All over the world, if women’s labor force participation rate increases it always goes hand in hand with economic growth. Because, after all, these young women, or even older women, they are producing something. They are contributing to GDP growth,” she said.

    GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, is a measure of the goods and services a country produces. Schmidt said for every 100 North African women only 10 have jobs. She describes women as a huge potential for economic growth going unused.

    North Africa, like sub-Saharan Africa, has a large percentage of working poor.

    The International Labor Organization annual report said job growth is dependent in large part on recovery from the global recession. Nevertheless, it says there are many things that can be done on the national level to help create highly productive jobs.

    For example, providing education and training in line with the job market; creating job centers where employers have easier access to potential employees; and helping entrepreneurs start their own businesses. The ILO also said much more can and should be done in the manufacturing sector to create jobs.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora