Global Unemployment Rate

Global Unemployment Rate


Why in the News?

Recently, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has updated its worldwide unemployment projections for 2024, indicating a modest drop to 4.9% from an earlier prediction of 5.2% and emphasising the ongoing disparities within global labour markets.  The adjustment primarily stems from lower unemployment rates in China, India, and affluent nations than anticipated this year. The decline in unemployment is anticipated to level off in 2025, stabilizing at 4.9%. 

Despite advancements, disparities continue to exist in labour markets, significantly impacting women in low-income nations. According to the report, there are 183 million individuals classified as unemployed, and an additional 402 million are not employed but seeking work. 

The ILO highlights that labour market inequality, particularly affecting women and those in low-income countries, is a pressing issue. With 22.8% of women seeking work unemployed, compared to 15.3% of men, and disparities even in high-income nations (9.7% jobless rate for women vs. 7.3% for men), it’s clear gender differences in employment persist globally, including a higher likelihood of women leaving the workforce.

About the International Labour Organisation (ILO): 

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a pivotal United Nations agency dedicated to promoting social and economic justice by establishing global labour standards. Established in October 1919 as part of the League of Nations, it is one of the UN framework’s earliest and most enduring specialized agencies. 
  • ILO has 187 member states, with a unique tripartite structure that brings together governments, employers, and workers to set labour standards, develop policies, and devise programs promoting decent work for all women and men. 
  • The ILO establishes international labour standards through conventions and recommendations. These standards cover many issues, including the right to organize, the abolition of forced labour, and equality of opportunity and treatment.  
  • It aims to ensure that workers’ rights are respected and protected. This includes fighting against discrimination, forced labour, and child labour and promoting freedom of association and collective bargaining. 
  • The ILO works to create decent job opportunities and improve working conditions worldwide. It tackles unemployment, underemployment, and informal employment to encourage sustainable businesses and economic expansion. 
  • It promotes dialogue and cooperation among governments, employers, and workers’ organizations. This tripartite structure is a fundamental principle of the ILO, ensuring all stakeholders have a voice in labour issues.  

Structure of the ILO: 

  1. International Labour Conference (ILC): The ILO’s supreme decision-making body meets annually. It adopts conventions and recommendations, sets the ILO’s budget, and elects the Governing Body.
  2. Governing Body: The executive council of the ILO, which meets three times a year. It makes decisions on ILO policy, sets the agenda of the ILC, and approves the draft program and budget.
  3. International Labour Office: The permanent secretariat of the ILO, responsible for implementing the organization’s work. The Director-General heads it.


The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a crucial United Nations agency that focuses on advancing social and economic fairness by setting international labour standards and ensuring everyone has access to decent work. Its distinctive tripartite framework and widespread technical cooperation initiatives position it as a significant entity in tackling worldwide labour issues and fostering enduring peace and prosperity. 


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Mains Practice Question:

Q. How does the International Labour Organization facilitate social dialogue among labour, management, and governments? Discuss some key challenges the ILO faces today in pursuing its objectives.

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