PANORAMA

The queues for work are longer than ever, while the cues for curbing unemployment seem to go unnoticed in a fast-paced global economy. In the coming decade, there will be 500 million more looking for a job. But where?

Date issued: 25 January 2001 | Size/duration: 00:03:09 (5.15 MB)

The queues for work are longer than ever, while the cues for curbing unemployment seem to go unnoticed in a fast-paced global economy. Nearly one billion people, a third of the world’s labour force, don’t have enough work, don’t earn enough money to feed themselves or their families. In 2 years, unemployment worldwide increased by 20 million. And in the coming decade, there will be 500 million more looking for a job. But where?

Man in unemployment line

(Question off) Why are you lining up here?

(Answer) We’re hoping to get a job.

(Question off) But there are only ten vacancies!

(Answer) Well, there’s a saying, you know, it’s better to be doing something than nothing. In any case, you can’t afford to lose hope.

Employment decreased 3 points from 16 percent in Chinese state-run enterprises. Elsewhere, unemployment increased significantly across the rest of Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. South Africa and parts of Europe, face mounting long-term jobless rates. Despite these numbers, recovery seems within reach.

Rashid Amjad: ILO

The global economy is showing signs of revival and if this revival continues to sustain itself, we have an opportunity to let us say, if you want to call it the growth dividend of the new economy, we should be able to use it to affect employment, to improve the employment situation and to improve living conditions. What we in the ILO call the creation of decent work for people all over the world.

Work is evolving in part due to the expansion of ICT, information and communication technologies that make new employment patterns possible. Part-time work increased to 16 percent in OECD countries. Casual or informal work is increasing worldwide as is migration, particularly for hi-tech jobs.

Fact; there is a skills shortage in the industrialised countries where ICT workers are in strong demand. “Leapfrogging” is one way developing countries are using ICT to bridge the employment gap. But training, non-discrimination and jobs are vital to the stability of any society.

ILO Director-General Juan Somavia

The employment gap is a fault line in the economy....Work is probably the most important single element that affects the life of individual human beings. It is critical to one’s identity and future, it is the principal means by which people connect to their communities and to the wider economic system....We don’t want to live in a world dominated by a divide between those who live on the cutting edge of the information age and others who live on the bare edge of survival.