ILO urges governments to extend pension coverage and unemployment benefits to temporary, casual and self-employed workers

18 May 2015

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has released a report analysing employment patterns in 180 countries. It found that insecure work had increased since the financial crisis, with three quarters of the world’s workers now self-employed, in temporary or casual jobs.

The report found that only half of global workers are paid a wage or salary, and just 40 per cent of these workers are employed in full-time, permanent positions. The report highlighted that in the EU the number of full-time jobs has decreased whilst part-time positions have risen. It suggests that the rise in insecure working is contributing to increased inequality and poverty, stating that: “The income gap between permanent and non-permanent workers has increased over the past decade”.

It points out that unemployment rates amongst women have recovered comparatively more slowly since 2009 in Europe and the rest of the world. It also shows that part-time contracts are particularly common amongst young women.

Following this study, the ILO have called for an increase in labour market regulations, unemployment benefits and pension coverage in order to protect ‘non-standard workers’ from unfair treatment and further insecurity.

Economist at Citi, Michael Saunders, commented to the Financial Times that policy should focus on increasing the number of jobs available, and argued that de-regulation of the labour market would stimulate jobs growth. However, The ILO report contests the idea that de-regulation boosts employment rates.

View the ILO’s interactive map here.