World unemployment to fall slightly in 2024

May 30, 2024
People queue up for a job interivew in this undated image.— AFP/file

GENEVA: Global unemployment is set to fall slightly this year, a United Nations agency said on Wednesday, reversing its previous prediction of a rise while warning of “slow progress” on tackling inequalities.


The International Labour Organisation (ILO) expects a global unemployment rate of 4.9 percent in 2024, after originally forecasting unemployment would rise to 5.2 percent this year from five percent in 2023.

In a report, the Geneva-based UN agency forecasts that the rate will stay at 4.9 percent in 2025.

However, the ILO cautioned that “inequalities in labour markets persist, with women in low-income countries particularly affected.”

The report found that 183 million people meet the definition of unemployed, meaning they are actively looking for work and are immediately available. But the number of people without a job who wanted to work stood at 402 million.

The agency also said women were more likely to be unwillingly out of work and disproportionately affected by a lack of opportunities. Women in low-income countries were especially hard-hit, with 22.8 percent who wanted a job not in work, compared with 15.3 percent for men. For high-income countries, the rate stood at 9.7 percent for women and 7.3 percent for men.