ILO report: Poor quality employment & inadequate working conditions are major issues in global labour markets

Author: International Labour Organization, Published on: 15 February 2019

"World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2019", 13 February 2019

Poor quality employment is the main issue for global labour markets, with millions of people forced to accept inadequate working conditions, according to a new report from the International Labour Organization (ILO). 

New data gathered for the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2019 (WESO) show that a majority of the 3.3 billion people employed globally in 2018 had inadequate economic security, material well-being and equality of opportunity, while reducing unemployment globally is not being reflected in improvements in the quality of work. 

The report cautions that some new business models, including those enabled by new technologies, threaten to undermine existing labour market achievements – in areas such as improving employment formality and security, social protection and labour standards.

Among the issues highlighted are: the lack of progress in closing the gender gap in labour force participation; the persistence of informal employment; and that more than one in five young people (under 25) are not in employment, education or training, compromising their future employment prospects. 

The annual report also highlights some pockets of progress. Should the world economy manage to avoid a significant downturn, unemployment is projected to decline further in many countries. There has also been a great decrease in working poverty in the last 30 years, especially in middle-income countries, and a rise in the number of people in education or training. 

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