Unemployment threatens society - ILO

Tue, 04/06/2013 - 11:36 -- nick

Britain is caught in a vicious unemployment spiral which threatens the fabric of society and could increase child poverty.

This is the shocking message from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations' employment arm.

It warns that low wages and high unemployment are sucking money out of the economy, leading to further decreases in the amount of money circulating and more jobs lost.

The ILO expects unemployment in the UK to take until 2017 to return to pre-recession levels, and believes the situation "not only has adverse consequences on individuals and their families, but also can weaken previously stable societies, as opportunities to advance in a good job and improve one’s standard of living become the exception rather than the rule."

It adds "this bleak economic scenario has created a fragile social environment, as fewer people see opportunities for obtaining a good job and improving their standard of living."

The report's author, Raymond Torres, warns that "in the UK there is a risk of poverty among children that we may not see much now but that could have serious long-term effects."

Unemployment in the UK is not as high as that seen in some other European countries, but the ILO points out that more than 60% of jobs created since 2008 have been part-time or temporary, entrenching low wages and insecurity, while long-term unemployment has more than doubled.

The UK lost 43,000 jobs between the end of 2012 and March 2013 alone, and the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is predicting peak unemployment of 8.0% next year despite the ILO's pessimism.

The current rate of 7.8% has not reduced for a year, the organisation notes.

The ILO wants all developed countries, including the UK, to promote job creation schemes through improving bank lending to small and medium-sized companies, and giving tax credits and incentives to companies to take on staff.

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