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Global Unemployment Declines, First Time Since 2000

Job creation failed to keep pace with global economic momentum last year, when unemployment declined for first time since 2000, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said in a report Monday. The number of jobless workers worldwide fell to 184.7 million in 2004 from 185.2 million in 2003, for an unemployment rate of 6.1%, down from 6.3%, according to the ILO.

But with world economic growth of 5%, the creation of 47.7 million new jobs "remained disappointing," the report said. "Employment as a share of the working age population stayed virtually unchanged at 61.8% in 2004," it found. The contraction in unemployment last year was particularly pronounced in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the jobless rate declined to 8.6% from 9.3% in 2003. There was only modest improvement in the European Union, where the unemployment rate came 9% after 9.1% in 2003.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

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