ILO warns of rising unemployment leading to social unrest

There are over 10 million more jobless people in Europe now than at the start of the crisis, according to a snapshot of the European labor market released by the UN’s International Labor Organization (ILO) on Monday.

“While fiscal and competitiveness goals are important, it is crucial not to tackle them through austerity measures and structural reforms that do not address the root causes of the crisis,” said the ILO in a snapshot of the EU labor market launched ahead of its 9th European Regional Meeting that opened in Oslo on Monday and runs through Thursday.

The report suggests that fiscal consolidation policies adopted throughout the bloc have caused the deterioration of the employment situation, warning that the young and low-skilled workers are the hardest hit.

“Long-term unemployment is becoming a structural problem for many European countries,” the report said. “In 19 of them, more than 40 percent of the unemployed are now long-term unemployed, meaning that they have been out of a job for 12 months or longer.”

The ILO also warned that “the worsening employment situation also means that the risk of social unrest is now 12 percentage points higher than before the start of the crisis.”

“Only five EU countries out of 27 (Austria, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg and Malta) have witnessed employment rates above pre-crisis levels,” according to the report. “Countries like Cyprus, Greece, Portugal and Spain have seen their employment rate drop by more than 3 percentage points in the last two years alone.”

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