Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Services overtake farming, factories as world's biggest employer, says U.N. report

Services overtake farming, factories as world's biggest employer, says U.N. report

The world's biggest source of employment is for the first time the services sector, rather than agriculture and industry, a U.N. report said Thursday.
Some 40 percent of the world's workers are now employed in the services sector, compared with 38.7 percent in agriculture and 21.3 in industry, the International Labor Organization said in its 12-page annual report. Ten years ago, 43.1 percent of employees worked in agriculture, and only 35.5 in services.
"We do expect the trend to continue," the report's author Dorothea Schmidt told reporters, adding it was likely that in future the services sector would provide more than half of global employment opportunities.
But she cautioned against interpreting the growth in services as an indicator of economic prosperity.
"What is important," Schmidt said, "is to realize that within the services sector you have the whole range of jobs. You have very low productivity jobs and you have extremely high-productivity jobs."
The trend toward work shifting from agriculture to services was particularly pronounced in Asia, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, the report said.
Overall employment numbers over the last ten years have been outpaced by population growth, the report noted.
The global work force grew to 2.9 billion last year from about 2.5 billion in 1996. But the number of jobless increased by 33.8 million during that period to hit 195.2 million in 2006.
"The main driving force for the fact that we do have rising numbers in both unemployment and employment, is of course because we have a growing population and because we have a growing labor force," said Schmidt.
A growing work force _ particularly in India, Africa and the Middle East _ means the global unemployment rate grew slightly to 6.3 percent in 2006, compared with 6.1 percent 10 years ago.
Seen in the context of healthy economic growth and improved productivity, governments need to place greater emphasis on linking prosperity to jobs, said Jose Salazar-Xirinachs, the executive director of ILO's employment unit.
Women and young people in particular need to be given more work opportunities and training, he said, as figures show they are most likely to be out of a job.
The lack of work for women is also one of the main reasons that unemployment rates are highest in the Middle East and North Africa. At 12.2 percent, joblessness in the region is almost twice that of developed countries.
The report also focuses on the world's 1.37 billion working poor _ people living on less than $US2 a day. Improving their pay, the ILO says, is "a precondition for sustained economic growth."
Picking up on the frequently repeated theme of economic power shifting away from the traditional engine of global growth, the United States, the report predicts a "rebalancing" of the world economy toward Europe.
"If the U.S. economy does slow down slightly, the strength of the European marketplace may be able to cover this shortfall because of their strong demand," Lawrence Jeff Johnson, ILO's chief of employment trends, told The Associated Press.
He also pointed toward a trend in some rapidly developing countries, such as China, which could face a shortage of skilled labor in future. Although it has a large number of highly specialized workers, a gap could open for mid-level technicians because the rural migrants streaming to the cities were not receiving any training.
"China will need to start looking at how they reallocate labor supplies in future," he said.
___________________
http://www.ilo.org/trends


Updated : 2021-05-14 19:57 GMT+08:00