Global economic growth slowed sharply in 2012 and its impact on jobs and labour productivity is being felt in every region. Unemployment has gone up the most in the developed economies, such as the European Union.
However a strong middle class now emerging in East Asia and elsewhere in the developing world could become a new global growth engine. With high unemployment, workers are increasingly finding themselves looking for work in new occupations where they lack the skills employers are looking for. This skills mismatch means unemployed people are taking longer to find a new job, and this is driving up long-term unemployment rates, especially for young people.
Wanted: Productive jobs for the developing world
In the developing world an important route to economic growth is through increased opportunities for workers to move from lower to higher productive jobs, for example from subsistence farming to work in industry and service sectors. This process, called 'structural change', has slowed down in recent years as job creation in productive sectors has stalled.