World unemployment to stay at 2009 record - U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) - The number of jobless worldwide this year is likely to remain around 2009’s record levels, with unemployment edging higher in rich countries but stabilising or declining elsewhere, the International Labour Organisation said.

Unemployed Latino immigrants line up for day jobs at a parking lot in Falls Church, Virginia, as unemployment figures are released by the U.S. Government on January 8, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing

The United Nations agency said unemployment totalled nearly 212 million in 2009, a jobless rate of 6.6 percent and an increase of 34 million over 2007, before the economic crisis.

Unemployment had already climbed to 185 million in 2008.

In 2010 it is likely to total just over 213 million, equivalent to 6.5 percent of the workforce of a bigger population, it said.

“With 45 million young women and men entering the global labour market every year, recovery measures must target job creation for our young people,” ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said in a statement on Tuesday on the issue of the ILO’s Global Employment Trends report.

Youth unemployment rose to 83 million or 13.4 percent in 2009 from 74 million in 2008 and 72.5 million in 2007.

The report said coordinated stimulus measures had averted a far greater economic and social catastrophe, but millions of people around the world are still without a job, unemployment benefits or any form of social protection.

Unemployment in rich countries will rise to 45.6 million or 8.9 percent of the workforce this year from 42.8 million or 8.4 percent in 2009, the Swiss-based ILO said.

The report said preliminary estimates of changes in labour productivity, or output per worker, showed it had fallen last year in all regions except East Asia, South Asia and North Africa, with a 4.7 percent decline in non-EU states of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

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Reporting by Jonathan Lynn, editing by Mike Peacock