THE International Labour Organisation (ILO) has warned that austerity measures are hurting job markets worldwide and predicted global unemployment of 202 million people in 2012, up six million from last year.
The ILO's World of Work Report 2012 said fiscal austerity and labour market reforms had had "devastating consequences" for employment while mostly failing to cut deficits, and warned that governments risked fuelling unrest unless they combined tighter spending with job creation.
"The austerity and regulation strategy was expected to lead to more growth, which is not happening," Raymond Torres, director of the ILO's Institute for International Labour Studies, told journalists in Geneva.
"The strategy of austerity actually has been counterproductive from the point of view of its very objective of supporting confidence and supporting the reduction of budget deficits."
The report said some 50 million jobs had disappeared since the 2008 financial crisis.
It predicted a global unemployment rate of 6.1 per cent in 2012 ù 202 million people, up three per cent from the provisional estimate of 196 million for 2011.
It forecast a rise to 6.2 per cent in 2013 as another five million people become unemployed.
"It is unlikely that the world economy will grow at a sufficient pace over the next couple of years to both close the existing jobs deficit and provide employment for the over 80 million people expected to enter the labour market," the report said.
It warned that trends were especially worrying in Europe, where nearly two-thirds of countries had seen unemployment go up since 2010.