Eswatini Daily News

By Ntombi Mhlongo
 
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has warned that finding a decent and well-paying job is likely to be harder this year because of the continuing global economic downturn.
 
In a report released on Monday, the ILO said global employment is set to grow by just 1.0 per cent in 2023, which is less than half of last year’s level.
 
The number of unemployed people around the world is also expected to rise slightly to 208 million. This corresponds to a global unemployment rate of 5.8 per cent – or 16 million people – according to ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook Trends Report.
 
The UN report warns that today’s economic slowdown “means that many workers will have to accept lower-quality jobs, often at very low pay, sometimes with insufficient hours.”
  
This is likely already the case in Europe and other developed countries due to the Ukraine war and the continued disruption of the global supply chains, both of which are counteracting the robust stimulus packages implemented to rid of the Covid-19 crisis.

“Real wages we project for 2022 to have declined by 2.2 per cent in advanced ountries and of course, Europe makes up a significant proportion of advanced countries, versus a rise in real wages in developing countries,” said Richard Samans, Director of ILO’s Research
Department.
 
An equally worrying development is the probability that efforts will be dashed to help the world’s two billion informal workers join the formal employment sector so that they can benefit from social protection and training opportunities.

“Between 2004 and 2019 we observed a decline in the incidence of informality globally of five percentage points, it is very likely that this progress will be reversed in the coming years,” said Manuela Tomei, ILO’s Assistant Director-General for Governance, Rights and Dialogue.
 
This is because employment recovery “especially in developing countries, has been biased very much towards informal jobs”, Ms Tomei told journalists in Geneva. The ILO report warned that as prices rise faster than wages, the cost-of-living crisis risks pushing more people into poverty. 

This trend comes on top of significant declines in income seen during the Covid-19 crisis, which affected low-income groups most, in many countries.

The report also calculates the size of the global jobs gap to have been 473 million in 2022. This is around 33 million more than in 2019 and it is defined as a measure of the number of unemployed people, including those who want employment but are not actively searching for a job, either because they are discouraged or because they have other obligations such as care responsibilities.

In the Kingdom of Eswatini, the government is prioritizing the creation of jobs by promoting the opening of businesses and the construction of factory shells for investors so that investors could come into the country and open up businesses. 

According to the Integrated Labour Force Survey of 2021, the Eswatini unemployment rate stands at 33.3 per cent. Over 70 per cent of the population is below the age of 35, with 37.4 per cent being between 15 and 34 years old (Eswatini Census: 2017). 

The survey states that 59.1 per cent of youth aged between 20 and 24
are unemployed.

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