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Achhe Din: India’s unemployment rate set to increase in 2017-18 – UN labour report

“Progress is only possible through international cooperation”

New Delhi: According to a UN labour report, unemployment in India is speculated to increase between 2017 and 2018.

World Employment and Social Outlook report released by The United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO) shows economic growth trends lagging behind employment needs and predicts both rising unemployment and worsening social inequality throughout 2017.

“Unemployment in India is projected to increase from 17.7 million last year to 17.8 million in 2017 and 18 million next year. In percentage terms, unemployment rate will remain at 3.4 per cent in 2017-18,” the report added.

India had performed slightly well in terms of job creation in 2016, when a “majority” of the 13.4 million new employments created in Southern Asia happened in the country.

The report also acknowledged that India’s 7.6 per cent growth in 2016 helped Southern Asia achieve 6.8 per cent growth that year.

“Manufacturing growth has underpinned India’s recent economic performance, which may help buffer demand for the region’s commodity exporters,” it added.

“Global unemployment levels and rates are expected to remain high in the short term, as the global labour force continues to grow. In particular, the global unemployment rate is expected to rise modestly in 2017, to 5.8 per cent (from 5.7 per cent in 2016) – representing 3.4 million more unemployed people globally (bringing total unemployment to just over 201 million in 2017),” the report added.

“We are facing the twin challenge of repairing the damage caused by the global economic and social crisis and creating quality jobs for the tens of millions of new labour market entrants every year,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

The number of unemployed people in emerging countries is expected to increase by approximately 3.6 million between 2016 and 2017 (during which time the unemployment rate in emerging countries is expected to climb to 5.7 per cent, compared with 5.6 per cent in 2016), it said.

“Almost one in two workers in emerging countries is in vulnerable forms of employment, rising to more than four in five workers in developing countries,” said Steven Tobin, ILO Senior Economist and lead author of the report.

In contrast, unemployment is expected to fall in 2017 in developed countries (by 670,000), bringing the rate down to 6.2 per cent from 6.3 per cent in 2016.
The ILO advocates policy approaches that address root causes of secular stagnation as well as structural impediments to growth.

“Boosting economic growth in an equitable and inclusive manner requires a multi-faceted policy approach that addresses the underlying causes of secular stagnation, such as income inequality, while taking into account country specificities,” said Tobin.

“Such progress is only possible through international cooperation. A coordinated effort to provide fiscal stimuli and public investments would go a long way to provide an immediate jump start to the global economy and could eliminate an anticipated rise in unemployment for two million people,” said the ILO.