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Poor working condition main global employment challenge —ILO

ILO, Espinosa, working conditions, ILO Centenary, Minimum wage

THE International Labour Organization (ILO) has declared that poor working conditions are the main global employment challenge; claiming that the progress made in reducing unemployment globally is not being matched by improvements in the quality of work.

In its World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2019 report; the ILO said poor quality employment is the main issue for global labour markets, “with millions of people forced to accept inadequate working conditions.”

In Africa, the report said only 4.5 per cent of the region’s working age population is unemployed, with 60 per cent employed. However, it stated that this development does not indicate a well-functioning labour market, “because many workers have no choice but to take poor quality work, lacking security, decent pay and social protection.”

It added: “The labour force is projected to expand by more than 14 million per year. Economic growth rates until 2020 are expected to be too low to create enough quality jobs for this fast-growing labour force.”

New data gathered for the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends2019 (WESO) shows that a majority of the 3.3 billion people employed globally in 2018 had inadequate economic security, material well-being and equality of opportunity.

“Progress in reducing unemployment globally is not being reflected in improvements in the quality of work.” It added.

The report, published by the ILO, cites the persistence of a number of major deficits in decent work, warning that, at the current rate of progress, attaining the goal of decent work for all, as set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 8, seems unrealistic for many countries.

“SDG 8 is not just about full employment but the quality of that employment,” the ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy, Deborah Greenfield, said.

“Equality and decent work are two of the pillars underpinning sustainable development.” She added.

The report cautions that some new business models, including those enabled by new technologies, threaten to undermine existing labour market achievements – in areas such as improving employment formality and security, social protection and labour standards – unless policy-makers meet the challenge.

“Being in employment does not always guarantee a decent living,” said Damian Grimshaw, ILO Director of Research. “For instance, a full 700 million people are living in extreme or moderate poverty despite having employment.”

Among the issues highlighted is the lack of progress in closing the gender gap in labour force participation. Only 48 per cent of women are in the labour force, compared to 75 per cent of men. Women also make up far more of the potential, underutilized labour force.

Another issue is the persistence of informal employment, with a staggering 2 billion workers – 61 per cent of the world’s workforce – categorized as such. Also of concern is that more than one in five young people (under 25) are not in employment, education or training, compromising their future employment prospects.

The annual report also highlights some pockets of progress. Should the world economy manage to avoid a significant downturn, unemployment is projected to decline further in many countries. There has also been a great decrease in working poverty in the last 30 years, especially in middle-income countries, and a rise in the number of people in education or training.

Poor working condition main global employment challenge —ILO
Tribune Online

source https://tribuneonlineng.com/poor-working-condition-main-global-employment-challenge-ilo/

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