GENEVA: Only a fourth of the world’s workforce have stable contracts, leading to growing job insecurity, a UN report said on Tuesday.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) report revealed a clear shift away from reliable full-time jobs, as short-term contracts and irregular hours become more widespread.
ILO chief Guy Ryder said the shift was contributing to the “widespread insecurity” affecting many workers worldwide.
The dwindling share of steady jobs comes against the backdrop of soaring global unemployment, with 201 million people jobless last year—30 million more than before the 2008 financial crisis, ILO said.
The organization’s main annual report, covering more than 180 countries and 84 percent of the global workforce, said a full three-quarters of workers have temporary or short-term contracts, held informal jobs or were in unpaid family work.
Among workers who earn salaries, only 42 percent have permanent contracts, said the ILO’s 2015 World Employment Social Outlook Report titled The Changing Nature of Jobs.
In such conditions, working is no guarantee of prosperity.
Many of the world’s workers find themselves in dire poverty, with nearly a quarter of them last year living with their families on less than $2 a day, and 10 percent of the global workforce lived on earnings of less than $1.25, the report said.
This was, however, a vast improvement from two decades ago when half the world’s workers lived below the $2 poverty line threshold.
But while the proportion of workers wallowing in poverty dwindled, Tuesday’s report showed a clear rise in part-time work, especially for women, after the global financial crisis.
“These new figures point to an increasingly diversified world of work,” Ryder said, calling the shift from standard jobs a “departure from long-term historical patterns.”
“In some cases, non-standard forms of work can help people get a foothold into the job market,” he said, warning though that the “emerging trends are also a reflection of the widespread insecurity that’s affecting many workers worldwide today.”
There were wide regional variations in terms of solid contract-bound employment with the figure standing at around 80 percent in developed economies and central and southeastern Europe but falling to about 20 percent in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. AFP