Davos: Around 27 million people around the world lost their jobs in 2009, the UN labour agency said, warning of a jobless recovery in a report released on the opening day of the World Economic Forum.
About 12 million of the newly unemployed were in North America, Japan and Western Europe, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said. The jobless jumped by nearly four million in both Eastern Europe and Latin America, while unemployment rates were more stable last year in Asia, Africa and West Asia.
The figures point to the need for a “global jobs pact” to boost employment around the world, the labour body said.
“Avoiding a jobless recovery is the political priority of today,” ILO chief Juan Somavia said. “We need the same policy decisiveness that saved banks now applied to save and create jobs and livelihoods of people.”
The Geneva-based agency said it expected unemployment to remain high through 2010, with perhaps an additional three million in the rich world losing their jobs or unable to find employment as they enter the job market.
Not all the unemployed were fired from jobs. ILO said youth unemployment has increased by over 10 million in the last two years, the worst surge since the agency began compiling global statistics in 1991.