23 October 2017

Nigeria: Global Unemployment to Rise By 2.8 Million in 2018, Says ILO

Photo: The Guardian
(file photo).

The International Labour Organisation has said that global unemployment may rise by 2.8 million in 2018, with diverging trends at country and regional level.

The ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, disclosed this in a statement on its website to the International Monetary and Financial Committee at the just-concluded 2017 yearly meeting of the Board of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC.

He said the global labour market still remains weak and fragile as youth unemployment continues to creep up.

In another development, a National Executive Council (NEC) member of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Secretary-General of the Textile Workers Union of Nigeria, Issa Aremu, has said that the greatest threat to unity and progress of the nation is the widening gap and economic disparity between the rich and poor.

Besides, he said unless the government immediately finds a way of tackling the deadly economic disparity, it could be a signpost to disaster in the near future.

Aremu, who spoke in Kaduna at the weekend during the yearly general conference of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, said that it was time for civil society and human rights organisations to organise and "march against this inequality."

According to Ryder, in developing and emerging economies, millions of employed youths still live in adverse poverty.

Ryder said: "While these wage developments have a close relationship to overall weak growth, they are also associated with the expansion of non-standard form of work, and in particular with involuntary part-time work, as the analysis in the WEO report demonstrates."

Recent technological changes are expected to further diversify employment patterns, and there is a growing need for careful monitoring and policy actions to ensure that these developments do not lead to the erosion of wages, particularly for workers in low-paid and vulnerable employment."

He further gave a sideline on the social and economic consequences of unpaid wages to workers, saying: "It is now well understood that stagnating real wages and a declining wage share have had both social and economic consequences. On the social side, the disparity between economic growth and wage growth means that workers and their families are not receiving their fair share of the gains they have helped to generate. This fuels frustration, hampers social cohesion, and leads to the political populism we are witnessing across the world.

On the economic side, low wage growth dampens household consumption and investment, which can reduce aggregate demand, particularly when wages stagnate in many large economies at the same time."

The NLC chieftain also lamented the worsening security situation in the country, saying that if the spate of kidnapping and armed robbery in the country persists, the Inspector-General of Police should be removed from office.

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