NEWS

75% of workers can't find stable employment, says UN arm ILO

05/19/2015 10:51 EDT | Updated 05/19/2016 05:59 EDT
More than three-quarters of the world's workforce have insecure, part-time, temporary or otherwise unstable jobs, according to a UN agency, and that's having a hurtful impact on the global economy.

The report, by the International Labour Organization (ILO), indicates about 25 per cent of workers have "stable" employment.

The rest are working part time, self-employed, only have temporary employment or have had to settle for something else, such as unpaid family work, to earn their keep. 

"In some cases, non-standard forms of work can help people get a foothold into the job market," ILO director general Guy Ryder said. "But these emerging trends are also a reflection of the widespread insecurity that's affecting many workers worldwide today."

The report looked at working conditions in 180 countries, and claims to cover 84 per cent of the world's potential pool of labour.

Between 2009 and 2013, there were more part-time jobs created than full-time jobs in virtually every part of the world for which the ILO could find data.

All in all, 201 million people don't have jobs but want to work, the report says. 

Despite the narrative of an improving global economy, that figure is 30 million people higher than it was in 2008, before the last worldwide recession.

There's a growing disconnect in incomes between people with steady employment and individuals who have to settle for something else. The ILO report says that job stability since the recession has actually gotten worse in many parts of the world, and large increases in worker productivity are not filtering down into wage gains for workers yet.

In another finding from the report, nearly a quarter of workers around the world are living with their families on less than $2 a day, and 10 per cent of the global workforce lived on earnings of less than $1.25.

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