Majority of World's Workers Have Insecure Jobs
25 May 2015 at 11:32 am
Only one quarter of workers worldwide is estimated to be in stable employment, according to a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The World Employment and Social Outlook 2015 (WESO) finds that within the global workforce, three quarters of workers are employed on temporary or short-term contracts, in informal jobs often without any contract, under own-account arrangements or in unpaid family jobs.
Over 60 per cent of all workers lack any kind of employment contract, with most of them engaged in family-business work in the developing world, the report found.
However, even among wage and salaried workers, less than half (42 per cent) are working on a permanent contract.
The first edition of the new, annual ILO report, entitled The Changing Nature of Jobs, shows that while wage and salaried work is growing worldwide, it still accounts for only half of global employment, with wide variations across regions. For example, in the developed economies and Central and South-Eastern Europe, around eight in ten workers are employees, whereas in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa the figure is closer to two in ten.
Another current trend is the rise in part-time employment, especially among women. In the majority of countries with available information, part-time jobs outpaced gains in full-time jobs between 2009 and 2013.
“These new figures point to an increasingly diversified world of work. In some cases, non-standard forms of work can help people get a foothold into the job market. But these emerging trends are also a reflection of the widespread insecurity that’s affecting many workers worldwide today,” ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said.
“The way forward is to ensure that policies take into consideration the evolution of how we work today.
“The shift we’re seeing from the traditional employment relationship to more non-standard forms of employment is in many cases associated with the rise in inequality and poverty rates in many countries.
“What’s more, these trends risk perpetuating the vicious circle of weak global demand and slow job creation that has characterised the global economy and many labour markets throughout the post-crisis period.
“The way forward is to ensure that policies take into consideration the evolution of how we work today. This means stimulating investment opportunities to boost job creation and productivity, while ensuring adequate income security to all types of workers, not just those on stable contracts.”
The report looked at Australia as an advanced (non EU) country saying there is a downward trend in delivering unemployment benefits with an increased share of unemployed individuals having exhausted their rights to unemployment benefits.
The report found that the proportion of Australian unemployed receiving benefits fell from 69.7 per cent in 2006 to to 55.1 per cent in 2013.
“The key issue is to match regulation to an increasingly diversified labour market,” Director of the ILO Research Department and lead author of the report, Raymond Torres said.
“Well-designed regulations can support both economic growth and social cohesion.”