The prospects for 2023 in terms of employment are not encouraging, but they will also have an uneven impact in terms of gender.
The slowdown in the international economy this year will also cause a lower job growth with respect to 2022.
That would force many people to have to accept lower-quality jobs, a situation that will particularly affect women.
The data comes from the most recent report of the International Labor Organization (ILO), entitled “Social and employment prospects in the world: Trends 2023”in which world employment is also expected to grow by 1.0% this year, an important one compared to the previous period, where this rate stood at 2.3%.
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The report is not encouraging about the future either, warning that “no major improvement is in sight for 2024, when job growth will rise to just 1.1%”.
The impact of this drop in the creation of jobs will affect women unequally, whose situation will be, according to the document, “particularly adversary.” This is because the starting point is very different: while women have a labor force participation rate of 47.4%, in the case of men this figure increases to 72.3%. “This difference of 24.9 percentage points implies that for every economically inactive man there are two women in the same situation,” warned the ILO.
The slowdown will not be the only problem. In terms of quality, the outlook for 2023 is predicted to be complex. “Beyond the employment deficit, the quality of jobs continues to be a fundamental concern. Many people cannot afford to be without a job if they do not have access to social protection mechanisms. In these cases, they tend to accept any type of job, often very poorly paid and with uncomfortable or insufficient hours. Therefore, the expected slowdown is likely to force workers to accept lower quality jobs than those who could enjoy it in better economic conditions”, the report states.
Given previous experience on that issue, the situation also poses mixed challenges. Women were the most affected by the loss of employment in 2020, as a result of the pandemic, the text assures. However, and although they were the fastest to recover their jobs in 2022, they did so in more informal conditions than men. “The intensity of that recovery was mainly driven by informal employment: four out of five women’s jobs created in 2022 were informalversus only two out of three positions for men.”
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Informality leads to another problem that is, in the words of the ILO, that of social justice. Not only because households depend on income generated from work, but also because of the access to protection rights: a social work, sick leave, less strenuous days, among others.
According to the report, in 2022, 2 billion workers and workers have informal employment in the world. The trend towards informality was particularly important after the covid-19 crisis.
In total, the organization affirms that only 47% of the world population is effectively covered with at least one social benefit, which is equivalent to saying that 4 billion do not have access to these rights.
The ILO document also states that the global employment deficit amounted to 473 million people in 2022, “which corresponds to an incidence rate of employment deficit of 12.3%”. What measures this employment deficit is precisely the unsatisfied need for work in the world.
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In the case of women, it is especially high, especially in developing countries. If the general average is 12.3%, that rate increases to 15% for women, a significant difference compared to 10.5% for men.
The reason for this difference, says the document, is related to personal and family responsibilities, “including unpaid care work, as well as discouragement due to the lack of decent employment opportunities and training and professional retraining.”
Thus, with the expected decline in economic activity, the slowdown in job growth, and the lower quality of the labor supply, women will face specific challenges.
Faced with a grim outlook, some trends remain. “The differences between men and women are present in all areas of the world of work”secure the report.
*Businesswoman, founder and president of GlobalNews Group. President of the business committee of the World Innovation and Cha.
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