ILO sees growing social unrest from rising unemployment | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 03.06.2013
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ILO sees growing social unrest from rising unemployment

The International Labor Organization (ILO) has predicted fewer jobs and more social unrest for the world's advanced economies. By contrast, emerging economies will make further progress, ILO has said in a special report.

Between 2010 and 2011, income inequalities had risen in 14 of the 26 most advanced economies, including France, Denmark, Spain and the United States, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said in its World of Work 2013 report released Monday.

The rise was the result of shrinking middle-income groups in those countries due to rising long-term unemployment, weakening job quality and more and more workers dropping out of the regular jobs market altogether, the ILO said in its report.

"The situation in some European countries in particular is beginning to strain their economic and social fabric," ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said in the report.

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As a result, the ILO found that the risk of social unrest had risen in 46 of 71 countries surveyed. In the recession-hit eurozone, for example, chances of public protests turning violent jumped from 34 percent in 2006 to 46 percent in 2012. ILO also blamed austerity measures imposed by a number of eurozone governments for the rise.

Globally, the ILO predicted unemployment to rise from about 200 million currently to nearly 208 million by 2015, as the global economy was only slowly emerging from the financial crisis.

However, the job markets of emerging economies were less affected by rising unemployment, the ILO found. Noting that the middle class in those countries had increased from 263 million in 1999 to 694 million in 2010, the ILO said the challenge now was to consolidate recent progress by reducing a so-called floating group of people who hover just above the poverty line.

In recommendations, the ILO urged industrialized countries to adopt a more sustainable approach to fiscal consolidation, putting more emphasis on the effects on the labor market and social systems. It demanded better workers' rights and more government intervention to spur economic growth, as well as better international cooperation in tax policy.

uhe/ng (Reuters, dpa)

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