ABU DHABI, 11th October, 2017 (WAM) -- More than 200 million people are out of work around the world, an increase of 3.4 million since last year, says the International Labour Organisation, ILO, and this is a matter of serious concern.
In the new addition of its flagship report, "World Employment and Social Outlook 2017: Sustainable Enterprises and Jobs," the ILO has warned that small and medium sized enterprises have stagnated, the impact of which is worst in developing economies, where more than one in two workers are employed in small and medium-sized firms.
"Private sector enterprises accounted for the bulk of global employment in 2016, employing 2.8 billion individuals, representing 87 percent of total employment," said The Gulf Today in an editorial on Wednesday.
The sector, which also covers medium-sized firms, accounts for up to 70 percent of all jobs in some Arab States, and well over 50 percent in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. However, what is alarming is the fact that these companies are struggling to grow. Data from more than 130 countries shows that small and medium business had faster job growth than larger firms before the global financial slump in 2008.
Disturbingly, from 2009, job creation in the small and medium sector was simply absent, according to the ILO report.
This is an unambiguous signal that governmental intervention is necessary to reverse the trend. By 2030, there will be about 1.3 billion 15 to 24-year-olds on the planet, some 100 million more than in 2015.
In a separate report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has suggested that young people growing up in rural Africa need jobs where they live, so they are not forced to join the growing ranks of poor seeking work in cities or to make dangerous journeys to reach Europe.
Industrial and service sectors in African and South Asian cities have not grown enough to meet the demand, and won’t absorb the millions of new job seekers wanting to escape grinding poverty and hunger in their rural homes.
In June, several African governments pledged to restore degraded land, invest in agriculture and create "green jobs" for young people in a drive to reduce unemployment, fight radicalisation, and stem the tide of migration to Europe.
"While such a pledge sure rings in some optimism, there is still a long way to go. What is called for is categorical action on the ground. After all, jobs are a matter that affects each and every individual and families," concluded the Sharjah-based daily