By Piotr Skolimowski
Finding a comfortable job could be a struggle even as global economy hits its stride in 2018.
That's the conclusion of the International Labor Organization's latest World Employment Social Outlook, which shows that the progress in reducing vulnerable jobs has stalled and could actually reverse in the next two years. This kind of work, which already affects almost 1.4 billion people, or 42 percent of all workers globally, could impact another 35 million by 2019.
ILO defines vulnerable forms of employment as those in which people work informally or on their own account and so are less likely to be represented by trade unions. That leads to reduced sense of job security, irregular incomes or no access to social protection.
The situation is particularly acute in developing countries, where three out of four workers lack stable jobs. Those countries are also most affected by widespread working poverty: more than 300 million million workers in emerging and developing countries subsist on household income of less than $1.90 per day in purchasing-power-parity terms.
The lack of job security also means workers struggle to demand higher wages — one of the reasons behind the low-inflation phenomenon that continues to perplex policy makers in many regions of the world.
The ILO argues that as the global unemployment rate stabilizes — it estimates it will stay at last year's level of 5.6 percent — there is need to tackle "widespread decent work deficits." That involves improving the effectiveness of economic growth by making it more inclusive and employment-intensive, according to the report. "The achievement of these objectives may, in turn, accelerate growth, thereby creating a virtuous cycle of growth and decent work," ILO says.