ILO warns of unrest over jobs slump

News vendor shows bank crash headlineSocial unrest is likely as the world teeters on the brink of a second Great Depression. That's the verdict of the International Labour Organisation's World of Work Report which looks at labour markets across the globe. It said the risk of social unrest was rising in 45 of the 118 countries it examined and predicted it would take at least five years for employment in advanced economies to return to the level it had been before the crisis began.
According to Raymond Torres of the ILO, "We have reached the moment of truth". The organisation's 'social unrest index' noted particular signs of tension in the EU, the Arab region and parts of Asia. The study found only half of the 80m jobs needed to return employment to pre-crisis levels were likely to be created over the next two years.

Unemployment in the Eurozone's 17 nations has climbed to a 15-year high of 10.2%, with young people hardest hit. Youth unemployment in Italy is running at 29%, in Greece it is 43% and in Spain it is 48%. Worldwide, the study found there was a total of 200m people unemployed.

The ILO measured levels of discontent over the lack of jobs and found growing levels of anger based on the belief that the burden of the crisis was not being shared evenly. It warns that unless firm and decisive action is taken now, the world risks plunging into a second Great Depression.

That crisis was parked by the Wall Street crash of October 1929, an event which led to a 50% plunge in world trade, unemployment levels of 33% and untold misery for millions. It was the longest and deepest depression of the 20th century, and many economies did not recover until the end of the Second World War.

"The world economy, which had started to recover from the global crisis, has entered a new phase of economic weakening," said the ILO. "Economic growth in major advanced economies has come to a halt and some countries have re-entered recession, notably in Europe."
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