Employment trends and labour market information

As economies and societies become more interdependent, the need to enhance our understanding of the world of work becomes increasingly important. Timely and focused information on the world's labour markets is essential; information that can answer such questions as:

  • What types of economic activities are countries and people engaged in?
  • What is the size and composition of the labour force?
  • How is the level of economic development reflected in a national labour market?
  • How many people are without work and looking for work?
  • How many hours do people work and how much do they earn for this work?
  • What types of employment inequalities exist?
  • How are specific groups, such as women and youth, faring in the labour market?
Answering these questions requires detailed analysis of a large volume of statistics. At the national level, statistical information is generally gathered by national statistical agencies and labour ministries. At the global level, the ILO plays a vital role in assembling, analysing and disseminating information to the world community. The Department of Statistics maintains relevant statistical series and methodological information in regular ILO publications and its online statistical database, LABORSTA. The Employment Sector also houses numerous resources, listed below, that aim to disseminate labour market information, identify inefficiencies (and best practices) in the labour market, such as labour underutilization and decent work deficits, and guide constituents on the use of labour market information for the design and monitoring of employment policies that aim to enhance the well-being of workers while also promoting economic growth.

What's new

  1. Global Employment Trends 2011: The challenge of a jobs recovery

    01 January 2011

    The annual Global Employment Trends (GET) report provides the latest global and regional estimates of employment and unemployment, employment by sector, vulnerable employment, labour productivity and working poverty, while also analysing country-level issues and trends in the labour market. Taking into account macroeconomic trends and forecasts, the GET includes a short-term outlook for labour markets around the world.

  2. Global Employment Trends for Youth, August 2010

    12 August 2010

    The report presents the latest global and regional labour market trends for youth and specifically explores how the global economic crisis has exposed the vulnerabilities of young people around the world. In developed economies, the crisis has led to the highest youth unemployment rates on record, while in developing economies – where 90 per cent of the world’s youth live – the crisis threatens to exacerbates the challenges of rampant decent work deficits, adding to the number of young people who find themselves stuck in working poverty and thus prolonging the cycle of working poverty through at least another generation.

  3. Global Employment Trends, January 2010

    26 January 2010

    An update of the annual ILO Global Employment Trends series, available since 2003

Key resources

  1. Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM)

    29 September 2009

    A multi-functional research tool of the ILO consisting of country-level data on 20 key indicators of the labour market from 1980 to the latest available year.

  2. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) employment indicators

    29 September 2009

    Activities that entail raising awareness of the MDG employment-related indicators and offering country-level support to ensure that the indicators are used in national and international labour market monitoring systems.

  3. Global Employment Trends and related reports

    26 January 2010

    A series of reports that analyse global and regional economic and labour market developments based on the most recently available data.