Global jobs market struggling to recover

Marion Dakers
THE JOBS market in wealthier countries is struggling to grow after the financial crisis, figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) think tank showed yesterday.

The share of working age people in jobs in the world’s wealthier nations was 1.5 percentage points below the 2008 watermark in the third quarter of 2012, though the employment rate for OECD countries rose 0.2 per cent on last year to reach 65 per cent.

The Eurozone’s rate fell 0.4 percentage points on a year ago to 63.8 per cent, faring worse than the US and Japan, which reported modest rises.

And the stark outlook for young people trying to find work failed to improve, with a stagnant 39.3 per cent employment rate for 15-24 years olds in the quarter.

In the UK, the employment rate improved 0.3 points to 70.3 per cent over the third quarter, though it lingers below the 71.5 per cent rate seen in 2008, the OECD said.

The group expects the UK economy to grow just 0.9 per cent this year as the Eurozone’s economic woes continue to weigh on the recovery.

The figures came as a UN agency repeated its warning that the global jobless queue will stretch to more than 200m people this year.

The International Labor Organization said unemployment will rise by 5.1m this year to hit 202m, though the agency’s annual figures are often revised down.

The ILO added that the prolonged period of patchy global growth has worsened a skills mismatch, as people who have struggled to gain work during the crisis are often no longer qualified to take the new jobs being created.