Agency warns of global labor market contraction

GENEVA (HPD) — The International Labor Organization has warned that job vacancies and job growth are likely to slow in the fourth quarter of the year, as the war in Ukraine and “multiple simultaneous crises” have caused wage cuts, high indebtedness and rising of inequality.

Gilbert Houngbo, the new director-general of the ILO, called on the world’s governments to intervene to fix the prices of goods, invest profits, increase incomes and provide social protections.

“Tackling this worrying global employment situation and avoiding a significant labor market contraction will require coherent, integrated and balanced policies at the national and international levels,” Houngbo said in a statement.

He added that a quick end to the war in Ukraine would “further contribute to improving the global employment situation.”

The ILO, an agency attached to the United Nations, noted that the number of hours worked globally rebounded earlier this year, particularly among women and highly-skilled workers, as the global economy recovered from the contraction caused by the coronavirus. the pandemic.

But the agency, which released its 10th report on the global labor situation on Monday, says the situation has now deteriorated and the number of hours worked has fallen 1.5%, the equivalent of a “deficit” of 40 million workers. full-time jobs.

“The employment outlook is currently highly uncertain, with growing risks, including the impact of inflation, restrictive monetary policy, high indebtedness and falling consumer confidence,” the report says.

“While it typically takes a while for an economic contraction or recession to result in job losses or unemployment, available data suggests that a pronounced job contraction is already underway.”

The ILO estimates that more than 10% of the pre-war Ukrainian workforce – mostly women – are now outside the country, as refugees.

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