GENEVA: The number of unemployed people worldwide reached 212 million in 2009, up 34 million or an unprecedented 19 per cent since 2007, the eve
of the financial and economic crisis, according to a study by the International Labor Organisation.
The figure represents a global unemployment rate of 6.6 per cent last year, an increase of 0.9 per cent over 2007, the annual Global Employment Trends said.
Young workers were particularly hit hard, with unemployment rate up 1.6 points over 2007 to 13.4 per cent, the largest increase since 1991 and the earliest year for which global estimates are available.
"We need the same policy decisiveness that saved banks now applied to save and create jobs," ILO Director General Juan Somavia said in a statement, adding that the coordinated international response to the crisis had averted greater catastrophe.
The report said although economic growth is expected to be positive this year - the IMF said yesterday 2010 global economic growth would reach 3.9 per cent -- the global unemployment rate is expected to remain high through 2010, stagnating between 6.1 and 7 per cent.
Furthermore, more than 1.5 billion workers are in "vulnerable" employment situations, or slightly over half of the world's labor force, it said.
Developed economies -- which contracted 3.5 per cent in 2009 -- were the worst hit, with an unemployment rate rising 2.4 points from 2008 to 8.4 per cent.
Source: The Economic Times