For most, May 1 is just another holiday. But truth be told, it’s a day to recognise the efforts of the workforce worldwide. We start by taking a look at the invisible men, women and unfortunately children who make cities tick
Projections indicate that, going by present trends, employment in advanced economies will not reach pre-crisis levels until late 2016. The current economic slowdown has also affected employment prospects in emerging and developing economies.
The ILO’s World of Work Report 2012: Better Jobs for a Better Economy says that around 50 million jobs are still missing compared to the situation that existed before the crisis. It also warns that a new and more problematic phase of the global jobs crisis is emerging. This is due to the fact that many governments, especially in advanced economies, have shifted their priority to a combination of fiscal austerity and tough labour market reforms. The report says such measures are having devastating consequences on labour markets in general and job creation in particular. They have also mostly failed to reduce fiscal deficits.
Global employment has not yet recovered from the global crisis that erupted in 2008. The global employment rate, at 60.3 per cent in 2011, is 0.9 percentage points lower than before the crisis. This means that around 50 million jobs are missing relative to the pre-crisis situation.
There are marked cross-country differences in recent employment trends. Employ-ment rates have recovered much faster in emerging and developing economies, especially the latter where as a group they have surpassed the pre-crisis levels. By contrast, employment rates remain subdued in many advanced economies and in Northern Africa.
Source: Trends Unit of the Employment Sector and Sameer Khatiwada (Institute)
The International Labour Organisation estimates that 246 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 currently work (or about 15% of the world’s children, about 35% of children in Sub-Saharan Africa).
In the least developed countries, 30 per cent of all children are engaged in child labour.
Worldwide, 126 million children work in hazardous conditions, often enduring beatings, humiliation and sexual violence by their employers.
An estimated 1.2 million children — both boys and girls — are trafficked each year into exploitative work in agriculture, mining, factories, armed conflict or commercial sex work.
The 2011 Child Labour Index rated 68 nations as falling into the “extreme risk” categories in terms of child labour, with Bangladesh, India and Pakistan falling into the top 10 nations with that unfortunate designation. Known as a principle resource for high-end fashion chains, China ranked just outside of the top 10 nations for underage labour at No. 13.
Sources: unicef.org,ilo.org, crin.org