Global unemployment to slightly fall in 2024, UN labour body says

By Thomson Reuters May 29, 2024 | 7:51 AM

(Reuters) – The global unemployment rate is expected to fall slightly to 4.9% this year from 5.0% in 2023, even as inequalities in labour markets persist, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday.

The ILO, a United Nations agency, in January estimated unemployment to inch up to 5.2% due to an expected rise in joblessness in advanced economies.

The revision is mainly due to lower-than-expected unemployment rates in China, India, and high-income countries reported so far this year, the agency said.

The downward trend for joblessness is expected to flatten in 2025, with unemployment remaining at 4.9%, the report said.

Global economic growth has been slightly more robust than expected in the first months of 2024, particularly in the United States, while inflation has been decreasing, giving a breather to household incomes.

The International Monetary Fund in April raised its 2024 forecasts for global growth to 3.2% from the 3.1% estimated in January, largely due to an improvement in the U.S. outlook.

“This stabilisation in the macroeconomic environment is translating into a relatively stable labour market outlook,” the ILO said.

However, in the medium term the situation remains uncertain due to the monetary and fiscal policy adjustments expected globally with restrictive macroeconomic policies having a delayed effect on the labour market, it added.

(Reporting by Matteo Allievi; Editing by Andrea Ricci)