Voice of America (Washington, DC)

Africa: ILO - Weak Global Recovery Has Curtailed Job Growth

The International Labor Organization says a weak recovery from the 2008 global economic downturn has curtailed job growth around the world.

The ILO said Monday that nearly 202 million workers were unemployed in 2013, up 5 million from the year before. The Geneva-based group says most of the increase occurred in the East Asia and South Asia regions, followed by sub-Saharan Africa and Europe.

With a weak recovery, the ILO says another 23 million workers have become discouraged from looking for a job and dropped out of the labor market.

It says youth unemployment is a particular problem, with more than 74 million people aged 15 to 24 out of work in 2013. The youth employment rate is more than 13 percent, more than twice the overall global jobless rate.

The ILO's director-general, Guy Ryder, says world leaders urgently need to craft a "policy re-think." He says stronger efforts are needed to "support enterprises that create jobs."

The ILO predicts joblessness will worsen over the next few years, projecting that there will be 215 million unemployed by 2018.

The agency says the number of working poor is declining across the globe, but at a slower pace than in previous decades. It says 839 million workers - more than a quarter of the world's labor force - live on $2 a day or less.

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