The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has released a pessimistic report for the global jobs market in 2012 saying urgent attention is needed to create 600 million new jobs in the next decade.
"Despite strenuous government efforts, the jobs crisis continues unabated, with one in three workers worldwide, or an estimated 1.1 billion people, either unemployed or living in poverty," Juan Somavia, director-general of the UN agency, said on Tuesday.
"What is needed is that job creation in the real economy must become our number one priority," he said. "Whether we recover or not from this crisis will depend on how effective government policies ultimately are."
The report said governments must co-ordinate and act decisively "to reduce the fear and uncertainty that is hindering private investment so that the private sector can restart the main engine of global job creation".
The Global Employment Trends 2012 report called for more co-ordination of fiscal policies, repair and regulation of the financial sector and support for the real economy.
The ILO says there are nearly 200 million unemployed worldwide and that another 40 million jobs need to be created each year for the next decade.
Even under fairly benign conditions such as a quick resolution of the euro debt crisis, the ILO expects global unemployment to be stuck at about six per cent until at least 2016.
The data was based on figures for mid- or end-2011 for most countries, although ILO officials use their own estimates for the two biggest countries, China and India.
The ILO says 74.8 million youths aged 15-24 were unemployed in 2011, an increase of more than four million since 2007 in the total global labour force of 3.3 billion.
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