The World Is Missing Out on $1.2 Trillion in Wages

Some 61 million fewer people were employed in 2014 than there would have been had pre-crisis employment growth trends continued

Job seekers wait in line to enter the Choice Career Fair in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.

Job seekers wait in line to enter the Choice Career Fair in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.

Photographer: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg

The global financial crisis of 2008-10 had a big impact on jobs. Employment growth has stalled at a rate of about 1.4 percent per year since 2011. While this compares favorably with the crisis period when that rate averaged 0.9 percent, it is below the 1.7 percent annual rate between 2000 and 2007, according to the International Labour Organization.

The slower employment growth since 2011 compared with before 2008 means there are 61 million fewer jobs in 2014 than there would have been had the pre-crisis growth trends been maintained, the ILO said. 

In 2013, that jobs gap corresponded to an estimated $1.2 trillion in lost wages around the world, which is equivalent to about 1.2 percent of total annual global output and roughly 2 percent of total global consumption.

Other highlights from the ILO report, which you can read in full here:

Global labor productivity growth declined from an average annual rate of 1.5 percent in the pre-crisis period to –1 percent during the crisis years. It rebounded to 1.4 percent between 2010 and 2014.

Wage and salaried employment is growing, but still only accounts for half of global employment. Between 2015 and 2019, an estimated two-thirds of net new employment growth around the world will be wage and salaried employment.

Part-time employment is widespread, particularly among women, and is generally increasing. In the vast majority of countries with available information, the rise in the number of part-time jobs outpaced gains in full-time jobs between 2009 and 2013.

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