Global Economy Risks Jobless Recovery

    23 January, 2014


    This is the VOA Learning English Economics Report.

    Organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund expect the international economy to perform better this year than in 2013. They also expect economic conditions to improve next year.

    Yet one United Nations agency worries that economic progress is not creating enough jobs for the millions of people seeking employment. The U.N.'s International Labor Organization is saying current economic growth has not helped the world's unemployed.

    Global Economy Risks Jobless Recovery
    World Unemployment, 2003 - 2018

    The ILO released a report on employment this week. Guy Ryder of Britain is the Director General of the agency. He says the unemployment numbers for 2013 represent an increase from the year before. That means new jobs created by economy growth are not keeping up with the number of people entering the job market.

    "The bottom line figure for 2013 is that there are nearly 202 million people around the world unemployed, and that represents an increase of nearly five million on the previous year," said Ryder.

    The ILO says much of the increase came from East and South Asia, they were responsible for nearly half of the additional job seekers, many others came from sub-Saharan Africa and Europe.

    The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde raised concerns about job creation during a speech earlier this month. She said unemployment remained, in her words, worryingly high in Europe, an area expected to show economic gains this year.

    One question is whether the current period of economic growth is leading to job creation. The ILO says, based on current information, the world will have 18 million more jobless individuals by 2018, many of these are young people between the ages of 15 and 24.

    Guy Ryder says youth unemployment is a major concern.

    "Young people are the particular victims of unemployment: 74.5 million of the unemployed, aged between 15 and 24, that is one million more than the year before," said Ryder.

    The ILO says youth unemployment worldwide is over 13 percent. There has been success in reducing the number of working poor over the past 10 years. The ILO defines the working poor as individuals earning less than $1.25 a day.

    However, the group says 839 million people earn less than two dollars a day, that represents one-forth of the globe work force.

    Low wages, the group says, mean weak demand and fewer jobs created in areas like manufacturing and services.

    And that's the Economics Report for VOA Learning English. For more programs, and pdfs of our programs, go to And follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I'm Mario Ritter.