World's jobless to rise amid slower growth & uncertainty

The ranks of the world’s jobless are expected to grow this year due to slow growth, political and economic uncertainty and a lack of investment, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Thursday.

Unemployment is rising in major emerging economies, especially those reliant on commodity exports such as Russia, South Africa and Brazil, the United Nations agency said.

Due to the failure to create jobs, global unemployment is forecast to increase by 3.4 million people in 2017, bringing the total to 201 million, it said in its annual report World Employment Social Outlook.

“That corresponds to an increase in the rate of unemployment in the world from 5.7 percent in the year that has just closed to 5.8 pct in 2017, and this is a tendency driven by deteriorating labour market conditions, particularly in emerging countries,” ILO director-general Guy Ryder told a news briefing.

“We have a situation in which, despite relatively high cash holdings, companies seem uncertain about investment. Investment levels are not where they need to be,” he added.



Globalisation and trade liberalisation are increasingly questioned, Ryder said, noting that the intentions of the incoming U.S. administration of Donald Trump were a “major cause of uncertainty”.

Long-term unemployment remains stubbornly high in Europe, Canada and the United States, the report said. At the same time, social unrest and a lack of decent wages are prompting job-seekers to migrate from developing regions.

“Migration is an essential part of the world of work, it’s an essential part of stimulating future growth, sharing prosperity, making our global economy more inclusive,” said Ryder, a former head of the international trade union ICFTU.

“The irony, dilemma, paradox of our time is that at a moment when the economic case for migration, taken globally, has probably never been stronger, it seems that the social and political obstacles to migration are becoming even higher.”

Major commodity-exporting economies are hardest-hit by insufficient jobs.

“For instance, we note an increase in the unemployment rate in the Russian Federation, South Africa, Brazil … and some levelling off at least in Saudi Arabia and again also in Indonesia,” said ILO senior economist Steven Tobin.

Latin America and the Caribbean remain scarred by recent recessions, while sub-Saharan Africa is in the midst of its lowest level of growth in more than two decades, the report said.

Latin America’s unemployment rate is set to rise by 0.3 percent in 2017 to 8.4 percent, largely due to the slowdown in Brazil, the continent’s largest economy, it said.


Related Content

#LockdownLessons: Companies putting the grit in integrity

As part of our #LockdownLessons series, Bizcommunity ( is reaching out to its Press Office clients and South Africa's top industry players to share their experience of the current Covid-19 crisis, how their organisations are navigating these unusual times, where the challenges and opportunities lie, and their industry outlook for the near future. What was your initial response to the crisis/lockdown and has your experience of it been different to what you expecte

Coronavirus – Africa: COVID-19 highlights in the ECOWAS region as at 25th May, 2020

COVID-19 highlights in the ECOWAS region as at 25th May, 2020. Distributed by APO Group on behalf of West African Health Organization (WAHO).Media filesDownload logo

Coronavirus – Africa: Urban refugees struggling to survive as economic impact of COVID19 worsens in East, Horn and Great Lakes of Africa

Download logoThis is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Charlie Yaxley – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Refugees in urban areas across the East, Horn and Great Lakes region of Africa are struggling to meet their most basic needs as the economic impact of COVID19 begins take hold. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency is working closely with governments and partners to find solutions for urban refug

Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) Awards 2020 call for nominations announced

The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) ( is pleased to announce the call for nominations for AWIEF Awards 2020. This year marks the fourth edition of the highly-anticipated AWIEF Awards which serves as the premier platform to highlight achievements in women entrepreneurship across Africa. AWIEF Awards are Africa’s top honours for female founders and entrepreneurs designed to recognise and celebrate their contribution to the growth of Africa&rsqu

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

Against the Odds with Peace Hyde EP06 hosts Udo Okonjo

Udo Okonjo is an international lawyer and real estate entrepreneur who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Fine and Country West Africa, a global real estate brand, specializing in providing a premium service through exceptional marketing. But to get to the top of the chaotic luxury real estate market in West Africa, Okonjo had to not only be exceptional at what she does but also overcome insurmountable challenges against all odds.

Transcorp CEO on adapting to the post -COVID economy

Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases continue to surge with the latest update indicating that over 11,000 cases have been confirmed so far. As businesses explore ways to sustain their operations amid the outbreak, Owen Omogiafo, President and Group CEO of Transcorp joins CNBC Africa to discuss how the conglomerate is adapting to the post COVID economy.

In conversation with Ethiopia’s first female president

In this CNBC Africa Special, Forbes Africa Editor Renuka Methil, speaks to a leader who made history as the first female president of Ethiopia, one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies. President Sahle-Work Zewde is currently the only serving female head of state in Africa and in October, will complete two years in office....

How e-commerce is transforming SA’s liquor industry amid COVID-19 lock-down

South African’s were able to quench their thirst from Monday, after the 2 month alcohol ban was lifted under level 3 lock-down regulations. Liquor stores across the country opened their doors to eager customers who are able to buy alcohol in stores and online in the limited days of Monday to Thursday. Jonah Naidoo, Co-Owner of the Boutique liquor store Dry Dock joins CNBC Africa for more.

Partner Content

Sanlam Emerging Markets and its partners on the African continent invest over $12 million to fight COVID-19

As we go through this global pandemic together, it is the little things we miss. A high five, a handshake, a walk...

VIVO CEO is a dynamic leader for this innovative global brand

May 2020 -- Six months ago the vision for vivo in South Africa was just beginning to...

Trending Now

Understanding Nigeria’s debt strategy

Following the approval of President Buhari’s $5.5 billion loan request by Nigerian lawmakers, Steve Osho, Managing Director of Comercio Partners Capital joins CNBC Africa to assess Nigeria's debt strategy as the country braces up to the COVID-19 shock.

Breaking down Nigeria’s licensing round for marginal oilfields

Nigeria has launched its first licensing round for marginal oilfields in nearly 20 years, according to the Department of Petroleum Resources. The bid process from announcement to the execution of relevant agreements is expected to last about 6 months. Oyeyemi Oke, Oil and Gas Lawyer and Partner at A02 law joins CNBC Africa for more.

How Pan African countries are responding to COVID-19

Covid-19 has caused havoc across the continent, the question is how much of it and what are African nations doing about it. We have a man who works with 33 countries in Africa and he can tell us just that, Junior Ngulube, Vice Chairman of Sanlam Pan Africa joins CNBC Africa for more....

Zedcrest Capital CEO on COVID-19, debt sustainability & Nigeria’s economic future

Nigeria’s National Assembly has approved the $5.5 billion external loan request of the executive arm of government to fund the country's budget deficit. While addressing the revised Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, the lawmakers raised the oil price benchmark to $28 per barrel from the $25. Dayo Amzat, Managing Director and CEO of Zedcrest Capital joins CNBC Africa for more.
- Advertisement -