12 Oct 2012

Crisis cost: 30 million jobs vanish

9:14 pm on 12 October 2012

There are now 30 million more people without jobs across the world than before the global financial crisis began, the International Labour Organisation says.

The figures come amid a growing debate over the merits of austerity, especially in Europe. Painful budget-cutting in Europe is pushing jobless levels as high as 25% in some countries, including debt-hit Greece and Spain, AFP reports.

"Global unemployment is still more than 30 million higher than before the crisis and nearly 40 million more women and men have stopped looking for work." ILO director-general Guy Ryder said on Friday.

Mr Ryder said about a third of the more than 200 million unemployed across the world are aged under 25.

"With the world's workforce growing by around 40 million a year, we face large and growing decent-work deficits stretching out years ahead.

"Of those employed, 900 million women and men are unable to earn enough to lift themselves and their families above the $2 a day poverty line."

Mr Ryder said that figure would be 55% lower if the poverty reduction trend seen before the crisis had been maintained.

"This means that the damage of austerity measures has been more profound than previously thought. There is now an urgent need to revisit the timelines for fiscal balances, taking a much longer view of the time it will take to repair the damage done by the financial excesses of the pre-crisis period."

Separately, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said unemployment in advanced countries stood at 7.9%, or about 47.8 million people - 13.1 million more than at the onset of the financial crisis in 2008.

The OECD provides analysis and policy guidance for 34 leading countries and notes that unemployment rates continued to vary widely in August this year.

Unemployment in Spain also stood at about 25%, while in Portugal and Ireland it was 15.9% and 15% respectively, it said.