GENEVA – Jobs growth remains weak among the world's 20 biggest economies, where almost a third of the 93 million unemployed have been out of work for more than a year, top labor and development officials reported Wednesday.
In a batch of new figures intended to push G-20 governments into action, the U.N.'s International Labor Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned the rate of employment growth remains low. The G-20 countries represent 80 percent of the world's economic output.
Over the last 12 months, unemployment dropped slightly in half of the G-20 countries, but it rose among the other half.
It was highest, above 25 per cent, in South Africa and Spain. It was 11 percent or above in France, Italy and for the European Union as a whole, and above 7 percent in Britain, Canada, Turkey and the United States. Unemployment was below 5 percent in only four countries: China, India, Japan and South Korea.
Among the total unemployed, about 30 percent on average were jobless for over a year, the agencies said.
Youth unemployment rates were twice as high as those for adults in all G-20 nations but Germany and Japan and despite the wide use of subsidies to encourage hiring of young people in Britain, France, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Spain.
The weakness of the global economy even six years after the onset of the global financial crisis has "blunted" many countries' efforts to find jobs for people, said Guy Ryder, the ILO director-general, and Angel Gurria, the OECD secretary-general, in a joint statement.
They advised labor ministers scheduled to begin two days of meetings on Thursday in Moscow that governments must ensure "a careful balancing between providing adequate income support for those out of work and with low incomes and activation measures which help them to find rewarding and productive jobs."