Workers without access to ‘decent’ jobs seen at 470M

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A job applicant stands in the midst of a long line of other hopefuls at a job fair. -- BW FILE PHOTO

ACCESS to decent work is deteriorating because employers keep offering inappropriate wages or demand long hours, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said.

In a report, World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2020 (WESO) released on Jan. 20, the ILO estimated the number of workers worldwide facing such conditions at 470 million.

“More than 470 million people worldwide lack adequate access to paid work as such or are being denied the opportunity to work the desired number of hours,” ILO said in the report.

This total includes 188 million who are currently unemployed; 165 who are underemployed; and 120 million who are not able to find decent work, ILO said. This suggests the “underutilization” of the global labor force which is not captured by typical indicators like unemployment rates.

WESO lead author Stefan Kühn said in a statement: “Labour underutilization and poor-quality jobs mean our economies and societies are missing out on the potential benefits of a huge pool of human talent.”

ILO also reported that global unemployment is expected to rise by 2.5 million this year, because of the mismatch between the numbers of those entering the workforce and the available jobs that are appropriate to their skills.

The report said being employed does not guarantee having decent work, with 61% of the global workforce, or about 2 billion workers, employed only informally. — Gillian M. Cortez