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World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2021

Context:

International Labour Organisation (ILO) has released the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends (WESO) report 2021 which shows that Global unemployment is expected to be at 205 million in 2022, surpassing the 2019 level of 187 million.

Relevance:

GS-III: Indian Economy (Growth and Development of Indian Economy, Important International Institutions and their reports, Employment)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. International Labour Organization (ILO)
  2. Highlights of the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends (WESO) report 2021
  3. Employment in the Indian Economy

International Labour Organization (ILO)

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social justice and promote decent work by setting international labour standards.
  • It was the first specialised agency of the UN.
  • The ILO has 187 member states: 186 of the 193 UN member states plus the Cook Islands are members of the ILO.
  • In 1969, the ILO received the Nobel Peace Prize for improving fraternity and peace among nations, pursuing decent work and justice for workers, and providing technical assistance to other developing nations.

ILO’s Tripartite Structure:

  • Unlike other United Nations specialized agencies, the International Labour Organization has a tripartite governing structure that brings together governments, employers, and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.
  • The tripartite structure is unique to the ILO where representatives from the government, employers and employees openly debate and create labour standards.
  • The structure is intended to ensure the views of all three groups are reflected in ILO labour standards, policies, and programmes, though governments have twice as many representatives as the other two groups.

The Functions of the ILO

  • Creation of coordinated policies and programs, directed at solving social and labour issues.
  • Adoption of international labour standards in the form of conventions and recommendations and control over their implementation.
  • Assistance to member-states in solving social and labour problems.
  • Human rights protection (the right to work, freedom of association, collective negotiations, protection against forced labour, protection against discrimination, etc.).
  • Research and publication of works on social and labour issues.

Objectives of the ILO

  • To promote and realize standards and fundamental principles and rights at work.
  • To create greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment.
  • To enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all.
  • To strengthen tripartism and social dialogue.

Highlights of the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends (WESO) report 2021

  • The Covid-19 Pandemic has pushed over 100 million more workers into poverty worldwide. The world would be 75 million jobs short at the end of this year compared to if the pandemic had not occurred.
  • Relative to 2019, an estimated additional 108 million workers are now extremely or moderately poor, meaning that they and their family members are having to live on less than USD 3.20 per day (It is the World Bank poverty line for lower-middle-income countries) in purchasing power parity terms.
  • The sharp increase in poverty rates is due to lost working hours as economies went into lockdown, outright job losses, and a decline in access to good quality jobs.
  • Five years of progress towards the eradication of working poverty have been undone, as working poverty rates have now reverted to those of 2015.
  • The pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities in the labour market, with lower-skilled workers, women, young people or migrants among the most affected.
  • In 2020, 8.8% of global working hours were lost compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 — the equivalent of 255 million full-time jobs.
  • While the situation has improved, global working hours have far from bounced back, and the world will still be short the equivalent of 100 million full-time jobs by the end of 2021.
  • Unemployment rate of 6.3% this year (2020-21), falling to 5.7% next year (2021-22) but still up on the pre-pandemic rate of 5.4% in 2019.

Employment in the Indian Economy

  • In 2012, there were around 487 million workers in India, the second largest after China.
  • In 2018 reports show: Close to 81% of all employed persons in India make a living by working in the informal sector, with only 6.5% in the formal sector and 0.8% in the household sector.
  • Among the five South Asian countries, informalisation of labour is the highest in India and Nepal (90.7%), with Bangladesh (48.9%), Sri Lanka (60.6%) and Pakistan (77.6%) doing much better on this front.
  • Over 94 percent of India’s working population is part of the unorganised sector.
  • Employment in India is multifaceted. There are people who are permanently unemployed; and there are people who are temporarily employed or temporarily unemployed (known as seasonal unemployment/employment), and in addition there is disguised unemployment – which in simple terms is the condition where a task that requires only 5 workers to handle it, is being handled by 12 workers.
  • Agriculture, dairy, horticulture and related occupations alone employ 43 percent of labour in India. However, Agriculture and the allied sectors contribute only to 14.6% of India’s GDP!

-Source: The Hindu

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