Agriculture is no longer the world’s main source of employment, a UN report has found. The Global Employment Trends 2007 report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) revealed that 40% of workers are employed in services, up from 39,5% the year before.
At the same time the agricultural share fell to 38,7% from 39,7%. Industry took 21,3% of jobs. Only 10 years ago, 43,1% of employees worked in agriculture and 35,5% in services. R eport author Dorothea Schmidt said the trend was expected to continue with the services sector providing more than 50% of global employment opportunities.
The report stated the number of people unemployed worldwide stayed at an historical high in 2006 despite strong global economic growth. And even though more people are working globally than ever before, the number of unemployed remained at 195,2 million in 2006 – a global rate of 6,3%.
This rate was almost unchanged from the previous year. “The strong economic growth of the last half decade has only had a slight impact on reducing the number of workers who live with their families in poverty and this was only true in a handful of countries,” said ILO director-general Juan Somavia. “In addition, growth failed to reduce global unemployment.
Even with continued strong global economic growth in 2007, there is serious concern about the prospects for decent job creation and reducing working poverty further.” he report said the creation of decent and productive jobs was crucial for reducing unemployment and slashing the number of families working but still living in poverty.
It also found unemployment hit young people aged 15 to 24 the hardest, with 86,3 million young people –44% of the world’s total unemployed last year. – Alan Harman