Global Employment Trends 2012: World faces a 600 million jobs challenge, warns ILO
The world faces the “urgent challenge” of creating 600 million productive jobs over the next decade in order to generate sustainable growth and maintain social cohesion, according to the annual report on global employment by the International Labour Organization (ILO).Press release | 24 January 2012
GENEVA (ILO News) – The world faces the “urgent challenge” of creating 600 million productive jobs over the next decade in order to generate sustainable growth and maintain social cohesion, according to the annual report on global employment by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
“After three years of continuous crisis conditions in global labour markets and against the prospect of a further deterioration of economic activity, there is a backlog of global unemployment of 200 million,” says the ILO in its annual report titled “Global Employment Trends 2012: Preventing a deeper jobs crisis”. Moreover, the report says more than 400 million new jobs will be needed over the next decade to absorb the estimated 40 million growth of the labour force each year.
The Global Employment Trends Report also said the world faces the additional challenge of creating decent jobs for the estimated 900 million workers living with their families below the US$ 2 a day poverty line, mostly in developing countries.
“Despite strenuous government efforts, the jobs crisis continues unabated, with one in three workers worldwide – or an estimated 1.1 billion people – either unemployed or living in poverty”, said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. “What is needed is that job creation in the real economy must become our number one priority”.
The report says the recovery that started in 2009 has been short-lived and that there are still 27 million more unemployed workers than at the start of the crisis. The fact that economies are not generating enough employment is reflected in the employment-to-population ratio (the proportion of the working-age population in employment), which suffered the largest decline on record between 2007 (61.2 per cent) and 2010 (60.2 per cent).
At the same time, there are nearly 29 million fewer people in the labour force now than would be expected based on pre-crisis trends. If these discouraged workers1 were counted as unemployed, then global unemployment would swell from the current 197 million to 225 million, and the unemployment rate would rise from 6 per cent to 6.9 per cent.
The report paints three scenarios for the employment situation in the future. The baseline projection shows an additional 3 million unemployed for 2012, rising to 206 million by 2016. If global growth rates fall below 2 per cent, then unemployment would rise to 204 million in 2012. In a more benign scenario, assuming a quick resolution of the euro debt crisis, global unemployment would be around 1 million lower in 2012.
Young people continue to be among the hardest hit by the jobs crisis. Judging by the present course, the report says, there is little hope for a substantial improvement in their near-term employment prospects.
Global Employment Trends 2012 says 74.8 million youth aged 15-24 were unemployed in 2011, an increase of more than 4 million since 2007. It adds that globally, young people are nearly three times as likely as adults to be unemployed. The global youth unemployment rate, at 12.7 per cent, remains a full percentage point above the pre-crisis level.
The report’s main findings also include:
- There has been a marked slowdown in the rate of progress in reducing the number of working poor. Nearly 30 per cent of all workers in the world – more than 900 million – were living with their families below the US$2 poverty line in 2011, or about 55 million more than expected on the basis of pre-crisis trends. Of these 900 million working poor, about half were living below the US$1.25 extreme poverty line.
- The number of workers in vulnerable employment2 globally in 2011 is estimated at 1.52 billion, an increase of 136 million since 2000 and of nearly 23 million since 2009.
- Among women, 50.5 per cent are in vulnerable employment, a rate that exceeds the corresponding share for men (48.2).
- Favourable economic conditions pushed job creation rates above labour force growth, thereby supporting domestic demand, in particular in larger emerging economies in Latin America and East Asia.
- The labour productivity gap between the developed and the developing world – an important indicator measuring the convergence of income levels across countries – has narrowed over the past two decades, but remains substantial: Output per worker in the Developed Economies and European Union region was US$ 72,900 in 2011 versus an average of US$ 13,600 in developing regions.
The report calls for targeted measures to support job growth in the real economy, and warns that additional public support measures alone will not be enough to foster a sustainable recovery.
“Policy-makers must act decisively and in a coordinated fashion to reduce the fear and uncertainty that is hindering private investment so that the private sector can restart the main engine of global job creation”, says the report.
It also warns that in times of faltering demand further stimulus is important and this can be done in a way that does not put the sustainability of public finances at risk. The report calls for fiscal consolidation efforts to be carried out in a socially responsible manner, with growth and employment prospects as guiding principles.
For more information, please contact the ILO’s Department of Communication and Public Information on +4122/799-7912, email@example.com
1 A person who has decided to stop looking for work because they feel they have no chance at finding a job is considered economically inactive (i.e. outside the labour force) and is therefore not counted among the unemployed. This also applies to young people who choose to remain in schooling longer than they had hoped and wait to seek employment because of the perceived lack of job opportunities.
2 Vulnerable employment is defined as the sum of own-account workers and unpaid family workers.
Global unemployment to hit record high in 2013, warns ILO
The Hindu jan23,2013The U.N. job watchdog also spotlights the problem of youth unemployment, noting that there are 73.8 m young people unemployed worldwide.
More than 197 million people worldwide are jobless, and an additional 39 million have simply given up looking for work, a U.N. agency said on Monday, warning that government budget-balancing was hurting employment and would probably lead to more job losses soon.
With global growth stalling five years after the financial crisis upended much of the world economy, the number of jobless is expected to rise by 5.1 million this year, to more than 202 million, the International Labor Organization said in a special report. And it predicted there would be a further three million newly jobless people next year.
High unemployment rates in the developed world — 7.8 per cent in the United States, 11.8 per cent in the eurozone — weigh on demand and hold back economic growth. Global gross domestic product will probably expand about 3.6 per cent this year, the International Monetary Fund said in October, below its previous forecast.
The ILO's revised figures mean global unemployment has risen by 28 million since 2007, before the start of the financial crisis, said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, at a press conference on Monday.
The ILO found that macroeconomic imbalances “have been passed on to the labour market to a significant degree.’’ With aggregate demand weakening, employment “has been further hit by fiscal austerity programmes in a number of countries, which often involved direct cutbacks in employment and wages, directly impacting labour markets.’’
More troubling, it said, was that while governments had sought to counter the effects of the financial crisis with fiscal stimulus, the later austerity measures in some countries appeared to be reinforcing the downturn.
Recession effectsThe effects of the recession in Europe are being felt elsewhere through “a spillover effect,’’ the ILO found, mostly through the mechanism of reduced demand for goods from elsewhere, but also in the form of volatile capital inflows in places such as Latin America and the Caribbean. These forces have pushed up local foreign exchange rates and left policymakers with difficult choices about how to keep soaring currencies in check without strangling economic growth.
The agency said that it was common for the rate of job creation to be slow by historical standards after a financial crisis, but that there had been “a short-lived respite’’ for developed countries beginning in 2010. That period has now ended, and once again “further job restructuring is likely before a stronger rebound can be expected in labour markets.’’
More people were simply leaving the job market altogether, particularly in the developed world, with labour force participation rates falling ‘dramatically,’ it said, “masking the true extent of the jobs crisis.’’
The ratio of employment-to-population ratio has fallen as much as 4 percentage points or more in some areas, it noted, and even where jobless rates have eased, the participation rate ‘has not yet recovered.’
Youth unemploymentThe ILO also spotlighted the problem of youth unemployment, noting that there were 73.8 million young people unemployed worldwide. It estimated that an additional half million would join the ranks of the jobless this year. The youth unemployment rate, currently at 12.6 percent, will probably rise to 12.9 per cent by 2017, the agency said.
“The crisis has dramatically diminished the labour market prospects for young people,’’ the agency said, “as many experience long-term unemployment right from the start of their labour market entry, a situation that was never observed during earlier cyclical downturns.’’
The agency said employment tapered off in 2011 before turning negative in 2012, with another four million people added to global unemployment rolls last year, about one-fourth of whom were in advanced economies where austerity measures had been the most pronounced.
But even countries in which jobless rates have not risen “often have experienced a worsening in job quality,’’ the ILO said, “as vulnerable employment and the number of workers living below or very near the poverty line increased.’’ — New York Times News Service
January 12, 2013
Why the middle class is revoltingSaskia Sassen speaks with a formidable energy. She engages her audience with her extensive research as she takes you through the “architecture” of globalization, the Global Street, cities and financialization. You may not make all the right connections at once but you are riveted. She was in Mumbai recently to inaugurate a workshop on Subaltern Urbanism hosted by Columbia University’s Mumbai Global Centre, with Support from the Women Creating Change Project. She is the Robert S Lynd professor of Sociology at Columbia University and co chair of the Committee on Global Thought. Author of several path breaking books on Globalisation, her five-year project with UNESCO on sustainable human settlements was published as a volume in the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems.
In an interview to The Hindu, Prof Sassen spoke on wide ranging issues related to her deep study of globalization, cities, the disconnect between the Liberal state and the middle class, the movements that are taking place in the world and the concept of the Global Street with which she seeks to capture links between power and powerlessness in urban space. The global corporate system has engaged in what she describes as a sort of grand larceny through bailouts and other ways of accessing the resources of states and people’s taxes. “I think of it as grand larceny because it goes well beyond the privileges enjoyed by rich firms and rich families in all our countries. This partly explains why middle class people everywhere, from Chile to Egypt to India were taking to the streets to protest this in different ways. The protests are not just about the particular issue that might ignite a street protest or an occupation but about a larger mix of injustices,” she says. She senses there is something happening across countries that is mobilizing the modest middle classes of all possible groups. Ironically it is the middle classes which potentially execute the role of the revolutionary force. She says the middle classes are the ones that have benefited the most from the modern state and its support of public transport, public schools, public health, public housing programs, public sector jobs. And this is falling apart.
How do you view the recent massive protests in New Delhi? What is your view of this- vis a vis the Global Street. How would you interpret this?
In reality, these kinds of protests are happening all over the world, around specific issues in each country. It becomes the occasion for actually enacting a much larger project than is indicated by whatever issue is the immediately visible complaint in a city, a country. For instance in Tel Aviv, the starting point was the high prices of apartments. About 100,000 people set up tents in central areas to protest- the first time this happened in Israel. The second point to make here is that there is a lot of suffering and impoverishment and degradation of conditions of life today that is invisible. The people might be living in the same houses, but inside the houses there is growing poverty and impoverishment. If you are on the outside, literally, you don’t know what’s happening inside. But inside there might be a crisis developing. We now know in Latin America, we have had professors and housewives—imagine, two very respectable sections of society - do food riots, they went to get food –that is pretty basic. How has it gotten to this behind the facades of middle class neighbourhoods?
In my new book, I am looking at so called rich governments in rich countries-- they don’t have the money to develop some of the basic infrastructure. I have a fantastic little table that shows the incredibly sharp growth since 1980s in the deficit of the governments in rich countries. Greece and Spain are simply the vanguard. At the same time corporate profits have risen sharply over the same period. The middle classes, modest enterprises, and the state are growing their debts and the corporate sector, including finance, is growing its wealth. So my extreme way of putting it—this is grand larceny- where you go with a truck, you don’t just steal a few things but you steal the whole house. In its relationship to citizens, modest enterprises (including small farmers), and to the state, the global corporate sector has committed a form of grand larceny. Certainly not all parts and officials in the state are innocent in this process.
The resources of states have gone disproportionately to the global corporate sector (and to war!). This is not a new story, but it takes on an extreme form since the 80s with the rise of a globalized corporate and financial system. So global South countries see this at their sharpest in the 1980s and 1990s and 2000s, and now this extraction is hitting rich countries-- the Euro zone and the US begin to extract resources from the state and citizens to pay banks –the language is to “rescue” banks. This reorienting of a country’s resources to rescue banks don’t fall from the sky. Partly, the governments have allowed enormous tax evasions by big corporations even as they raise taxes for small modest enterprises. Some of this hits the news—the recent law suits against Amazon, Starbucks and other respectable corporations which have tried to avoid paying billions in taxes to the US, to the UK. The estimate of tax evasion by corporate firms and finance is in the trillions in the case of the US.
In short, something is happening. But we don’t have a language that captures this mix of conditions. Particularly acute events organize our political moves. The price of apartments in Tel Aviv, the food riots in South America, extreme unemployment of middle class youth in Spain and Greece, and so on. One very general reason is that the social contract with the liberal state is not working any more. The elite are not affected and the super poor never got any benefits. It is the middle classes which got so many benefits. Now when there is talk of austerity, the middle classes are the ones most immediately affected. The liberal state with all its problems had a social contract with the middle classes. - it’s broken now and it’s broken in China, in the United States, South Africa --no matter that apartheid is ended.
Do you think a new world order is in the making? And what is the role of the various players in it? How does the Global Street figure as a catalyst in these developments?
I don’t know if a new world order is in the making but there is a new geography of privilege and disempowerment that cuts across the old divide of rich and poor countries, or North and South. And the ones that are emerging as the contesting actors are young men and women of the middle classes. They are the ones losing the most, who feel the social contract with the state is broken. They are also largely a consuming class –their parents and they themselves have largely consumed their democracy, their citizenship. I like to ask: who knows how to make in this world –make the social, make an economy, make the civic? Mostly it is elites and the very poor, because they have had to. Being an elite is more than just a collection of rich people, or rich firms. The global corporate and financial elite have developed a project – you don’t need a conspiracy: it is a mix of aims and instruments along with a globally networked political economy. And the poor have had to make –an economy, their own housing, their social support systems—in order to survive! That is why a working slum is something to respect...and admire. Against all odds they made an economy and a social order and support networks.
But we the middle classes were converted into consumers and the main beneficiaries of much of the resources of the state –from schools and hospitals to roads and electricity, and we paid for it through our taxes. But too much of our taxes now goes to bail outs of banks and luxury projects... and that is why the social contract between the liberal state and the middle classes is broken.
In the US thousands have started to live in tent cities since 2010. These are tent cities set up by municipal governments. But there are also encampments in the desert, often referred to as slab-cities—because they are often old buses and cars made into housing and you need some heavy rocks to keep them from shifting given strong winds in the desert. Over 9 million households have lost their homes in the US since the late 2000s –that could be up to 30 million people (one household can have one, two, five,..people). Most find some sort of temporary living arrangement. But increasing numbers have nothing left. Now these are mostly modest middle class families, who at one point owned or expected to own a house! I show a video when I teach—which shows one of these tent cities. One segment of the film has a well dressed blond man (not a traditional minority, in other words) stepping out of his little tent and saying, see, I try to keep myself clean and well dressed, I am waiting to be asked to go to work. In other words, he is ready for a job. This is a middle class man against all odds taking good care of himself, dressed as a middle class person –with label t-shirt and khaki pants, etc. And he is waiting for the system to call him back. And there is little chance this will happen. This is the difference with the slums they don’t wait, they make.
Now the Occupy movement worldwide is, I think, a movement that is about making social capabilities among vast strata of our societies—the impoverished middle classes. For example, Occupy Wall Street is now “occupying” the restoration of a mostly lower-middle class area destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast of the US- they are making sure the $ 50 billion of tax payers money the US government has promised will go to the right people and places. Or -Tahrir square- they are occupying the emergent democratic system to make sure that it will take off and be democratic. In India, where the state is putting so much tax payers money into luxury projects and helping big multinationals move into retail commerce….not a bad idea for an Occupy movement that checks how taxpayer’s money is used in critical or new projects. For instance the projects of transferring help to the poor via individual accounts –a good project! But what about the poor who have no access to electronic accounts—this is something where middle class activists can really help and construct themselves as a movement…There are hundreds of good issues for such focused movements to work on.
All of this is also part of my notion of the Global Street. It is one of the places to meet, recognize each other, strategize, and become witnesses to historical processes, including small, specific initiatives of powerful actors that can have negative effects on some social sectors. I am not making the argument that this is a historic vanguard. It might or not. But rather, am saying that this diversifying of the occupy movements world wide is about “making” –making social justice , something we can make without also having a political platform, making a political party, having funds for organizing elections. There are many strategies. I think India has some very significant movements of this sort –by women, by farmers, by environmentalists.
You are a key figure in a long and distinguished tradition of urban sociology. Can you say why the city is a key space of research for you?
In many ways I am not an urbanist. I am interested in studying complex but open conditions or systems. And there are few conditions that are as complex and as open and mutating as a city. So the city is an extraordinary window into all kinds of missions and never more than today, because today, one of the interesting developments is that many non urban processes and actors
now have also an urban moment in their trajectories. So being in a city, being alert to its complexity and its incompleteness is a way of understanding more than the urban. Also interesting is the city’s incompleteness gives it a capacity to mutate. Think about it-- the city has outlived empires, republics, corporations and financial firms. Why? Because cities are complex but incomplete- - a financial firm might be complex but it’s closed and therein lays its capacity to go down.
One of the most important aspects of your work is your analysis of how contemporary globalization is distinctive. Can you say a little about how you understand globalization and its complex impact on how it is reorganizing society today?
I have a doctorate in economics and sociology and I think of myself as a political economist so when I started my work on the city, I did not approach it as an urban sociologist. Not at all. I was looking at global markets in insurance, finances, accounting, taxation, international commodities trading my driving question at the time was-- does all this stuff ever hit the ground. I had that question for a very specific reason which was that most people talking about globalization in the 1980s and still today is a notion of space time compression, we are all connected, place no longer matters ...a flat world etc.
So back to my question --When you are trading non-material financial instruments do you ever hit the ground, do you need a city? I was looking at macro level data about diverse electronic flows. Let me clarify: this is the time when NY and other cities became global, not simply nodes for inter-nation flows, but nodes in a global corporate economy. In the 1990s the network of global cities broadens out into a hundred or so cities. So in tracking these flows I found that particular cities are key sites for producing the complex legal, financial, accounting, insurance, etc. instruments that allow firms to operate globally. Specific cities matter for specific flows, with a limited number becoming major global cities. In the 1980s it was New York, London and Tokyo. In the 1990s, the global corporate economy became more globalized, and it added many other cities as countries and areas of the world were incorporated into this new type of global system –not simply inter-national trade and such.
Further, when I entered the actual space of the city-- my next question was can I actually see all of this? The extreme rebuilding of the centre, extreme expansion using high-end architecture and urban design to expand the space of the “centre” of the city so that what may have been a marginal space, for instance Times Square, becomes part of “the” centre of New York. And one can literally measure it- I checked out Frankfurt and other cities to measure the new expanded space of the centre, with its luxury spaces of consumption, hotels and offices. When you expand the spaces for the financial services or corporate headquarters, and more, you must ask: what you have expelled? More than three million people from their homes in the old center of Shanghai, hundreds of thousands of poor who became homeless when their neighbourhoods—housing and shops—were replaced by high-end housing and shops…. And you saw this in London and Paris, and gradually this mode of remaking spaces of the center in more and more cities. I recall in Tokyo when it was gentrifying the old centers, I was doing my research and the experts would say we don’t have homeless people but they did. So entering the city, as opposed to tracking global networks, means entering the thicket of the urban condition, and that’s where it becomes interesting for me because a larger story becomes visible, one that includes all of that which is left out when we just describe the new spatial upgrading of a city.
To understand the urban, you also need to understand the non urban, such as the global electronic networks I was tracking. That was one of my contributions, though I shouldn’t be saying this. I got criticized by urbanists for doing this. I was interested in the connection between a global complex reality and the territorial, the city, and then, as a second step, how does it alter and become visible in urban space.
How does the city mirror its diverse groups and how do you approach studying a city?
One of the things that interests me about a city is that it can be a critical moment for something digitized. It is the moment when global finance hits the ground, it makes itself visible and reachable in that it has to employ people, needs suppliers, needs housing and restaurants and shops for its employees, and so on. It is, in principle, also a vulnerable moment. It is dependent on infrastructure and connectivity, with key elements of those infrastructures physically concentrated in cities. When September 11 happened, many firms left making visible that they did not need to be in a city. But some left and had to come back, making visible that they need the city for this then was also a way of documenting that these powerful global firms need cities, and hence cities can negotiate much harder with these global firms, ask for more. Still today when this is so evident, many city leaderships act as if these global firms are doing us a favour and hence we have to be nice with them. In brief, these were some of the issues that interested me, questions of power and the limits of power… so yes, many urbanists saw me as not quite an urbanist!
The city then becomes a window on the vulnerabilities and needs of Power. Entering the space of the city became very interesting, not just the urbanism (the visual order) but also because of it making visible power, powerlessness, and how powerlessness can become complex. Also how the minoritised of a society are not just the poor - gays and queers are also minoritised- it’s not just a division between the rich and the poor. The city is also a space where they can execute a life project, make a politics for their aims. It is not only the space for finance, the powerful, etc. It is a transversal terrain. So I don’t see “the city” as an object of study that I will examine as such..”the” city. I enter a complex space . Global cities are today’s frontiers, in the sense of the wild west. This is an argument I have developed in some of my writing. The frontier in the European colonial period is at the edges of the empire. Today, the frontier is deep inside our global cities. By frontier, whether the historic or today’s I mean a space where actors from different worlds encounter each other and there are no established rules. It can evolve into a predatory space, or a cosmopolitan space. The frontier is deep inside such cities, it is not at the edge. And that opens a research agenda that is a bit unusual.
What about your study on the Global Street and the link between power and the powerless.
The question that concerns me is whether the powerless also make history. In my territory book I examined various histories, completed histories which tell us that they do, but they do so under particular conditions. One of them is that it often takes a long time, many generations of invisible work and suffering. Think of the civil rights movement in the USA: it took many generations and then suddenly one day the political system goes “Oh! Let’s give them some rights.” And the actual making of this possibility is lost—all that is visible is that formalizing moment. So it took historians and activists to get the full history of making the civil rights laws into our record. When the formalizing moment does not happen, we can lose track of it all. Secondly, it takes a particular type of space for the powerless to make history. Today one such space is the city.
It is a real issue that when the powerless do not achieve power in some visible way, that is become empowered, we do not see the hard work of powerless actors that may also have contributed to a major event that happens much later.So that’s why I was interested in discovering whether there is an in-between zone between powerlessness in the typical sense, and becoming empowered, also in the traditional sense. The Anglo way of looking at this is a bit too dualistic for my understanding of history: if you are powerless and something good happens to you, then you are empowered. This means that many struggles by the powerless that did make history but did not lead to empowerment become invisible—we bury them deep beneath the ground. I tried to identify spaces where those without power have made history, even if they never became empowered. Of course I wound up in the city as one of those spaces. The Global Street in my work is such a space where those without access to the formal instruments for making – a building, a history, a politics, a difference—can get to make. I think the Occupy Movements, the Arab Spring, and others—made history even if they did not become empowered. The Global Street, does not have to be a street –it can be an empty parking place, or whatever.
A piazza is a space that can be the destination –you go there to do something--sit and read, wander, play with your kid. And, more deeply perhaps, it is one key space in the European tradition for the making of a public sphere, where the piazza is a place for ritualized practices—there is an embedded code as to how to conduct yourself. Embedded codes make publicness, the contribute to a public sphere. But the street is also such a space for making a public sphere, though, and this matters, with less ritualized practices, more anarchic, where people bump each other as they rush by. So I think of the Global Street also as a space for making a different type of publicness, that comes from the powerless, and it not catalogued immediately or recognised as such. Think of all the practices and codes developed during the occupations of Tahrir Square, Wall Street, and the big piazzas in Spain.
You spoke of the rise of the middle class and the disconnect with the liberal state. Can you elaborate?
The liberal state is in deep decay. And the social contract of the liberal state is with the middle class, much more so than the very poor and the very rich. Today we see a first generation in the middle classes since World War II which is poorer and more hopeless than their parents and grandparents. One way of putting it is that the deal between middle class and the liberal state has broken down. Privatization of everything is one manifestation. Reduction of social benefits of all sorts is another. It is happening everywhere where you have this kind of state—which, of course can also be a military state such as Egypt insofar as it has developed a range of state supports for a vast share of the population –public schools, public hospitals, housing, retirement benefits, etc..!.
The Arab Spring and the Occupy movements are about the social question. This is an indication then also of this break down. This is not about party politics, and it is not about power. It is about the breakdown of the social contract with the state. So the Old Left says the Occupy movements don’t have a plan and no leadership. But this is not what Tahrir Square and the Occupy movements are about. Systemic change undermining the connection between state and middle class is already in process. One of my concerns is the new geographies of centrality that cut across the old divisions of national borders and North versus South, developed versus underdeveloped countries. I argue and document in my book ‘Cities in A World Economy’ the emergence of a new global class whose spaces include all kinds of cities of the global South as well as North –but only parts of those cities –the spaces of power. For instance the new global class in Sao Paolo, or New York , or Joburg, connects with the elites in many cities of the Global South and North much more than they connect with their own hinterland. New alignments are getting made, even as many aspects of the old divide still carry enormous weight –hunger, disease, housing all are still much worse in poor countries than in rich countries, no doubt.
But the network of global and other key cities is a new geography of centrality, and of power that is not marked in any conventional map but is nonetheless very real, And the members are denationalised and connect across the old traditional borders with enormous ease. But this geography has its own borders, and they are not very permeable. It is easier for a poor worker to cross the border into a rich country than to cross into this new geography of power.
The point that I am trying to make is that there might be far more radical change than is evident. The French revolution took ten years, it was not just the storming of the Bastille, the most visible moment of a long process. Before that visible moment, the elites might have known about the complaints of the masses but felt that nothing serious was going to happen even though their world was falling apart.
List of countries by unemployment rate
Map of world unemployment rates
This is a list of unemployment rates for various countries. Unless indicated otherwise, statistics are based on The World Factbook. Several non-sovereign entities are also included in this list. Note that different states, NGOs, and agencies estimate unemployment rates using different definitions and methodologies. Given the dramatic differences in cultural attitudes towards the workforce and working conditions that exist even between Western countries, a definition that is both descriptive and objective probably does not exist. Questions like how is a part-time job counted, how long until someone is out of the workforce, and the status of subsistence living have not been agreed upon. In short, these figures are not directly comparable.
Comparable unemployment ratesBecause international comparisons of unemployment rates can be misleading, several organizations adjust unemployment rates to a common concept to allow accurate international comparisons. These comparisons generally pertain to developed countries. They are prepared by the Division of International Labor Comparisons, Eurostat, and the statistical division of the OECD.
Unemployment rate by country
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Australia since 1978
Country / Region
Unemployment rate (%)
Source / date of information
|American Samoa (United States)||23.8||2010|
|Anguilla (United Kingdom)||7.8||2002 (July)|
|Antigua and Barbuda||11.0||2001|
|Austria||3.9 (previously employed individuals only)||2012 (April)|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||27.6||2011|
|British Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)||3.1||2007|
|Cameroon||4.4 (underemployment - 75.8) 30.0(CIA estimate)||2005|
|Cape Verde||13.1||2010 (May)|
|Cayman Islands (United Kingdom)||4.0 (5.5 - 2010 estimate)||2008|
|Central African Republic||8.0||2001|
|China, People's Republic of||4.1||2010 (September)|
|Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Australia)||11.3||2006|
|Costa Rica||7.8||2009 (October)]|
|Czech Republic||7.3||2012 (October)|
|Dominican Republic||14.4||2010 (April)|
|European Union||11.1||2012 (July)|
|Faroe Islands (Denmark)||5.9||2010 (May)|
|French Polynesia (France)||11.7||2007|
|Gibraltar (United Kingdom)||1.8||2011|
|Guam (United States)||11.8||2012 (August|
|Guernsey (United Kingdom)||1.5||2010 (Q2|
|Hong Kong (China)||3.3||2012 (July-September)|
|Isle of Man||1.8||2010 (August)|
|Jersey (United Kingdom)||2.7||2009 (July)|
|Macau (China)||3.0||2010 (April|
|Federated States of Micronesia||22.0||2000|
|Montserrat (United Kingdom)||6.0||1998|
|Netherlands Antilles (Netherlands)||10.0||2008|
|New Caledonia (France)||17.1||2004|
|New Zealand||6.8||2012 (June)|
|North Korea||0.0||2012 (April)|
|Papua New Guinea||1.8||2004|
|Puerto Rico (United States)||13.5||2012 (August|
|Republic of China (Taiwan)||5.14||2010 (May)|
|Saint Helena (United Kingdom)||14.0||1998|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||5.1||2006|
|Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France)||10.3||1999|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||18.0||2009 (June|
|Saudi Arabia||10.8 (males only)||2010|
|Senegal||48.0; 30% among adults aged 24 and under|
|South Africa||25.5||2012 (Q3)|
|South Korea||2.9||2012 (October)|
|Sri Lanka||4.2||2012 (Q1)|
|The Bahamas||12.6||2009 (September)]|
|Trinidad and Tobago||5.8||2009 (Q3)|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||5.4||2007|
|United Arab Emirates||4.3||2010|
|United Kingdom||7.7||2013 (January)|
|United States||7.7||2012 (November|
|U.S. Virgin Islands (United States)||13.2||2012 (August)|
|Wallis and Futuna (France)||12.2||2008|