Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Giant of Idleness...

I read in the newspaper this morning about a new International Labour Organisation report "World of Work, 2012"[PDF]. Here are some key excerpts:
For 2012, around 202 million people are expected to be unemployed, reflecting the downward scenario indicated in the ILO (2012). The unemployment rate will further increase to 6.1 per cent of the global labour force this year and increase to 6.2 per cent in 2013. The number of jobseekers will continue to swell, and is expected to reach 210 million people by 2016, despite a gradual but limited decline in the unemployment rate.

…there is still a deficit of around 50 million jobs in comparison to the pre-crisis situation. It is unlikely that the world economy will grow at a sufficient pace over the next couple of years to both close the existing jobs deficit and provide employment for the over 80 million people expected to enter the labour market during this period.

...In addition, for a growing proportion of workers who do have a job, employment has become more unstable or precarious. In advanced economies, involuntary part-time employment and temporary employment have increased in two-thirds and more than half of these economies, respectively. The share of informal employment remains high, standing at more than 40 per cent in two-thirds of emerging and developing countries.
It is difficult to comprehend the amount of wealth being lost to un-and-under-employment. When we look around the world, and think what can be achieved with 202 million people's labour, and realise that it is just being lost. We need to be crystal clear, on May the first, workers day, capitalism depends on unemployment. It is a key and essential feature of the wages system. Those 202 million are unemployed so that a handful of billionaires can have their profits. We are being robbed not only of our own labour, but of the benefits of the labour of our fellows. That is the case for socialism in a nutshell.

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