GENEVA: The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has sounded the alarm on the global job situation in its latest annual report, saying urgent attention is needed to create 600 million new jobs in the next 10 years.
Globally, young people are nearly three times as likely as adults to be unemployed, the United Nations labour body said, as it called for greater coordination of fiscal policies, repair and regulation of the financial sector and support for the real economy to remedy the situation.
In a pessimistic job report released on Monday, the ILO said: 'Despite strenuous government efforts, the job crisis continues unabated, with one in three workers worldwide, or an estimated 1.1 billion people, either unemployed or living in poverty.
'What is needed is that job creation in the real economy must become our No. 1 priority,' said ILO director-general Juan Somavia in the Global Employment Trends 2012 report.
'Whether we recover or not from this crisis will depend on how effective government policies ultimately are.'
The UN body estimates that there are 200 million people unemployed, and that a further 40 million jobs need to be created each year for the next decade.
'Hence, to generate sustainable growth while maintaining social cohesion, the world must rise to the urgent challenge of creating 600 million productive jobs over the next decade, which would still leave 900 million workers living with their families below the US$2-a-day poverty line, largely in developing countries,' it noted.
The report said governments must coordinate and act decisively 'to reduce the fear and uncertainty that is hindering private investment, so that the private sector can restart the main engine of global job creation'.
The economic recovery that started in 2009 was short-lived, said ILO's senior economist Ekkehard Ernst at a press conference.
There are nearly 29 million fewer people in the labour force now than 'would be expected based on pre-crisis trends', he said.
'Our forecast has become much more pessimistic than last year's, with the possibility of a serious deceleration of the growth rate,' he added.
Unemployment of the young remains of top concern, with the ILO pointing out that nearly 12.7 per cent of the world's young people - between the ages of 15 and 24, and numbering 74.8 million - were unemployed last year.
This is one percentage point more than before the onset of the crisis in 2007, it said in the report.
According to the UN body, there is a risk of further stress on the global economy this year, because of which the current average global unemployment rate of 6 per cent was unlikely to change until 2016.
It cited three years of crisis conditions in the global labour market as the reason for its worsening assessment.
'Judging by the present course,' the report said, 'there is little hope for a substantial improvement in their near-term employment prospects.'
One bright spot in the ILO's report, however, was the finding that South-east Asia and the Pacific region achieved slightly faster employment growth from 2008 to last year over the situation in the five years preceding that period.
Together, this was the only region to see employment growth accelerate during the crisis, the ILO noted.
Still, it warned that future prospects in this region too are no different from the rest of the world's, with employment growth expected to decelerate steadily in the coming years.
The ILO also noted that labour productivity growth in South-east Asia and the Pacific fell sharply during the crisis, and is projected to remain well below the pre-crisis level during the 2012 to 2013 period, before recovering in the longer term.