U.N.: Global joblessness drops

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The U.N.'s International Labor Organization says global joblessness has dropped for only the second time in a decade.

Global employment improved only slightly last year with at a disappointing rate of 1.7 per cent on employment growth of 47.7 million. That was despite robust economic growth of 5 percent and unemployment decreasing from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent, the U.N. labor agency said Monday.


Employment as a share of the working age population stayed virtually unchanged at 61.8 per cent during 2004.

"While any global decline in unemployment is positive, we must not lose sight of the reality that employment creation still remains a major challenge for policy makers," ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said of the Geneva-based agency's Global Employment Trends. "In other words, we need policies that encourage more employment intensive growth."

At U.N. World Headquarters in New York, Lawrence Jeff Johnson, chief of the ILO's employment trends unit in Geneva, told reporters, "Unemployment is down and this is only the second time in the course of the last 10 years we've actually seen a year over year decline."


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