ILO predicts unemployment decline in Nigeria and other countries in 2024

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Global unemployment is projected to decrease this year, despite ongoing labor market inequalities, particularly impacting women in low-income countries, according to a report by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The UN agency forecasts the global unemployment rate to be 4.9 percent in 2024, down from 5.0 percent in 2023, and below an earlier projection of 5.2 percent. However, this downward trend is not expected to  continue into 2025. The report highlights that while unemployment is expected to fall modestly this year, labor market inequalities persist, especially for women in low-income countries.

Despite the positive outlook, the persistent lack of employment opportunities remains a concern. The ‘jobs gap’—which includes those without a job but wanting to work—stands at 402 million people in 2024, with 183 million counted as unemployed. The report also notes that job gaps for women in low-income countries have risen to 22.8 percent, compared to 15.3 percent for men. In contrast, high-income countries have job gaps of 9.7 percent for women and 7.3 percent for men. Additionally, women in low-income countries tend to earn significantly less than men, with earnings at forty-four cents to a man’s dollar, compared to seventy-three cents in high-income countries.

Globally, the report estimates that 45.6 percent of working-age women will be employed in 2024, compared to 69.2 percent of men. “Despite our efforts to reduce global inequalities, the labor market remains an uneven playing field,” said Gilbert Houngbo, ILO Director-General.

“To achieve a sustainable recovery that benefits everyone, we must prioritize inclusion and social justice in our policies and institutions,” Houngbo added.

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