GENEVA: The global unemployment rate is expected to inch up to 5.2% this year primarily because of a rise in joblessness in advanced economies, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday.

ILO’s 2024 World Employment and Social Outlook report forecasts the number of unemployed people will rise by 2 million, lifting the global unemployment rate to 5.2% from 5.1% in 2023.

“We are projecting a modest fall in performance on labour markets, in part because growth is decelerating around the world,” said Richard Samans, director of ILO’s research department.

Rising unemployment and falling real wages

ILO, a United Nations agency, said that after a short growth spurt as countries recovered from the pandemic, aggregate labour productivity growth had quickly returned to the low pace seen over the previous decade.

“During periods of slow productivity growth, real disposable income and real wages are often vulnerable to sudden price shocks,” the ILO report said.

The report said little gain in employment was anticipated among upper-middle-income countries over the next two years, but that job gains in low-income and lower-middle-income countries would remain robust.

“The situation is particularly concerning in high-income countries, where employment growth is expected to turn negative in 2024 and only modest improvements are anticipated in 2025,” ILO said.

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