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World – Private employment services are vital in the fight against unemployment

21 January 2014

Unemployment levels around the world are rising, according to the Global Employment Trends 2014 report from the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The ILO estimates that there were almost 202 million unemployed in 2013, five million more compared with 2012.

The bulk of the increase in global unemployment came from East Asia and South Asia, which together represent more than 45% of the additional jobseekers recorded in 2013; followed by sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. In contrast, Latin America added fewer than 50,000 additional unemployed people to the global number.

Overall, the crisis-related global jobs gap that has opened up since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, over and above an already large number of jobseekers, continues to widen. In 2013, this gap reached 62 million jobs, which includes; 32 million additional job seekers, 23 million people that became discouraged and no longer look for jobs, and seven million economically inactive people that prefer not to participate in the labour market.  

If the current trends remain, by 2018 there will be over 215 million unemployed around the world. The ILO therefore states that active policies on the labour market are required.

The Employment Trends report comments: “…it is essential to improve the functioning of the labour market by employing active labour market policy measures. Such measures match workers with available employment opportunities, incentivise discouraged workers to reengage in the labour market and promote skills development, so that workers are equipped with the skills that are in demand in the labour market.”

“Measures include, among others, effective public and private employment services, investments in and support for workers’ skills development, upgrading and re-skilling, including vocational training and entrepreneurial skills programmes”.  

Commenting on their website, Ciett (International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies) announced that they are in full agreement with the ILO’s statement, and stressed that private employment services around the world are already providing the Way to Work to more than 36 million people in their job life each year.

Ciett added that they are pleased that the Global Employment Trends 2014 has improved its language towards temporary work to a more nuanced position. Regarding the quality of work, the report clearly specifies the negative impact of involuntary temporary work, which Ciett fully agrees with, without generalising to all agency work.


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