"Despite a sharp rebound in economic growth for many countries, official global unemployment stood at 205 million in 2010, essentially unchanged from 2009, and 27.6 million more than on the eve of the global economic crisis in 2007," the ILO said yesterday.
"The ILO projects a global unemployment rate of 6.1 percent, equivalent to 203.3 million unemployed, through 2011," it added. Just over half of the unemployment occurring since 2007 happened in industrialised economies and the European Union, according to the UN labour agency. Many young people reaching working age have also failed to find jobs.
In developing economies such as Brazil, Kazakhstan and Thailand, jobless rates have fallen below pre-crisis levels, the ILO noted. "In spite of a highly differentiated recovery in labour markets across the world, the tremendous human costs of the recession are still with us," ILO director-general Juan Somavia said.
Besides the unemployed, some 1.53 billion people are trapped in "vulnerable employment" such as temporary jobs, the ILO said. "The incidence of vulnerable employment has remained broadly unchanged since 2008, in sharp contrast to the steady and significant average decline in the years preceding the crisis."
Figures for youth unemployment also looked discouraging -- 78 million young people were jobless in 2010, up from the pre-crisis level of 73.5 million in 2007.
"Youth employment is a world priority," Somavia stressed. "The weak recovery in decent work reinforces a persistent inability of the world economy to secure a future for all youth. This undermines families, social cohesion and the credibility of policies," he said.