GENEVA (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) has issued the 7th edition of its flagship “Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM)”, covering 18 indicators on employment and decent work with the latest available data for more than 200 countries, areas or economies worldwide.
A key new element of the 7th edition of the KILM is the first international database of national estimates of working poverty, based on data from 54 countries and disaggregated by age group and sex. This enhanced database provides new global figures regarding those who work but are living with their families below the USD 1.25 and USD 2 per person, per day poverty lines (see below).
As in previous editions, this year’s KILM also contains data on unemployment, labour force participation rates, status in employment, employment by sector, part-time workers, youth employment, education attainment and illiteracy, and poverty and income distribution, among others. And for the first time, two new indicators are introduced: average monthly wages and employment by occupation.
Since 1999, the KILM has been considered a key multi-functional research tool - publication, interactive software (CD-ROM) and online database - for monitoring and assessing the current status of the world of work. It is also a source of national data for measuring progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goal 1b of “achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people”.
In addition to the standard set of indicators, this edition contains three analytical sections: “Working poverty in the world: Introducing new estimates using household survey data” focuses specifically on working poverty, one of the four indicators selected to monitor MDG 1; “Gender equality, employment and part-time work in developed economies” examines part-time employment as a variable of gender equality in the labour market; and, “Labour market analysis of Brazil based on KILM and national data” shows how the different indicators contained in the report can be used to tell the story of the labour market in one country.
The main findings of the 7th edition of KILM include:
The estimated global number of working poor aged 15 years and above living on less than USD 1.25 a day decreased from 874 million in 1991 to 476 million in 2010, while those living on less than USD 2 a day dropped from 1.25 billion to 942 million1. However, excluding China from the global estimate reveals a far less optimistic picture, with the number of working poor living below the USD 1.25 a day poverty line in the world ex-China falling by only 23 million, from 437 million in 1991 to 414 million in 2010. The number of working poor living below the USD 2 poverty line actually increased over the same period in the world ex-China, from 697 million to 794 million.
Owing largely to the rapid reduction in poverty in China, East Asia has made the most progress in reducing working poverty over the past two decades, while Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia now account for a much larger share of the world’s working poor than in 1991. In 2010, more than half of the world’s working poor were in South Asia (versus less than a quarter of the world’s working poor in 1991), and a further 25 per cent lived in Sub-Saharan Africa (versus just over 10 per cent of the world’s working poor in 1991).
The global economic crisis has had a considerable impact on global wage growth. While wages grew at an average rate of 2.7 per cent in 2006 and 2.8 per cent in 2007, global wage growth slowed to 1.5 per cent in 2008 and 1.6 per cent in 2009. If China is taken out of the equation, wages grew much less rapidly (below 1 per cent in 2008 and 2009).
The long-term unemployment rate showed an increase in 29 of the 40 countries with available data at the peak of the crisis (2009). In 2010, the situation worsened further with an annual increase in all but four countries: Israel, Germany, the Republic of Korea and Turkey. The most dramatic increases in long-term unemployment rates took place in the Baltic States and in Ireland and Spain.
In most countries youth unemployment rates are between two and three times greater than those of adults. In some countries, such as in parts of Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, it is even 5 times greater, with youth unemployment rates often exceeding 18 per cent.
Youth aged 15 to 24 years account for an estimated 23.5 per cent of the working poor in countries with available data, while youth comprise only 18.6 per cent of non-poor workers. This means that young workers make up a disproportionately large share of the world’s working poor.
In the majority of countries with data, workers with primary education make up the latest share of the unemployed. However, in some low-income economies workers with secondary and tertiary education face considerably higher unemployment rates than workers with only primary education.
The employment-to-population ratio (or the proportion of the working age population that is employed) is higher for men than for women in virtually all countries. Although this gap has been shrinking in almost all regions, globally the proportion of working age men in employment remained 23.7 percentage points higher than the corresponding proportion of working age women.
For decades, the highest labour productivity, measured as GDP per person engaged, has been recorded in the United States. However, over half (68 out of 121) of the countries with available data achieved faster growth in labour productivity than the US over the period from 2000 to 2010.
Labour market information and analysis must be viewed as the cornerstone for developing integrated strategies to promote productive employment, standards and fundamental principles and rights at work, social protection and dialogue, as well as to address the cross-cutting themes of gender and development. This is where the KILM comes in.
For more information on the KILM, please contact the ILO Department of Communication and Public Information on +41.22.799.79 12 firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Compared to earlier versions of the KILM, the working poor estimates in this edition are more precise thanks to a new methodology based on national household data recently made available.