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Report: Global Uncertainties Lead to Rise in World Unemployment

  • Lisa Schlein

FILE - Job seekers attend a job fair in New York, Nov. 2, 2016.

Global unemployment is expected to jump by 3.4 million people — to more than 201 million — this year, the International Labor Organization reports.

With an economy deemed too sluggish to generate enough jobs, the report predicts another 2.7 million people will be added to the unemployment ranks in 2018.

The ILO says deteriorating labor market conditions are particularly acute in emerging and developing economies, where the rate of unemployment is expected to rise by slightly more than 1 percent over last year's level.

By contrast, ILO Director General Guy Ryder says, the rate of unemployment in developed countries should fall by slightly more than 1 percent this year, to 6.2 percent.

"But the pace of labor market improvements in the developed countries is slowing,” Ryder said.

Ryder says global uncertainties, including changes stemming from technology and demographics, are generating concerns about the ability of nations to create more jobs.

There also is a degree of political uncertainty, he says, and uncertainty regarding globalization, which is based on an increasingly open economy and the liberalization of trade and capital investment. The unexpected rise of protectionism, he adds, also is a factor.

"With the new administration in Washington, we are all waiting to understand with greater certainty or precision what the intentions of the Trump administration will be,” Ryder told VOA. “But, that is not the only source of questioning in the political sense. I think we are back in a situation where geopolitics has re-entered the scene in quite new ways, and something we have not experienced in recent times."

Authors of the ILO report argue that economic and labor market inequality have gone too far, and pose a threat to the fabric of society. They warn that global uncertainty and the lack of decent jobs are causing social unrest and are increasing migration in many parts of the world.

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