Global Job Creation Failing To Keep Up With Economic Growth

Job creation is failing to keep up with economic growth, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said Dec. 9. In its Key Indicators of Labor Markets report, published every two years by the UN agency, the ILO said that too few jobs are being created as economies grow. Between 1999 and 2003, for every percentage point of economic growth, total global employment grew by only 0.3% -- a drop from the 0.38% job growth ratio in 1995-1999.

Africa and the Middle East recorded the best employment increases, with 0.5-0.9%, for each percentage point of economic growth. However, the ILO cautioned, "much of the employment growth in these regions is in the category of 'self-employment' in the informal economy where working conditions are often poor." Such jobs, particularly in the farm sector, often fail to earn workers enough to pull themselves and their families out of poverty, said the agency, adding that the total 1.38 billion people who live on less than two dollars a day has not fallen in the past decade.

"Globalization has so far not led to the creation of sufficient and sustainable decent work opportunities around the world," said ILO head Juan Somavia. "The key message up to now is that better jobs and income for the world's workers has not been a priority in policy making," he said in a statement.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

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