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ILO: Jobs Divide Widens Between Rich, Poorer Nations

FILE: Job seekers wait beside a road for casual work offered by passing motorists in Eikenhof, south of Johannesburg, South Africa, on March 3, 2022.

BERLIN - A global employment divide between high-income and low-income countries is worsening as rising debt levels hit developing countries disproportionately, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday.

While global unemployment is expected to fall below pre-pandemic levels to 191 million this year - a rate of 5.3% - low-income countries lag in the recovery process, said the International Labor Organization's 11th edition of the Monitor on the World Of Work.

Low-income countries in Africa and the Arab region are unlikely to recover to pre-pandemic levels of unemployment this year, with the jobless rate in North Africa expected to be 11.2% compared to 10.9% in 2019, said the report.

"Investing in people through jobs and social protection will help narrow the gap between rich and poor nations and people," said ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo.

Rising debt levels compound challenges facing developing states, making policy intervention more difficult, said the ILO, which is launching a "Global Coalition for Social Justice" to push social justice as a national, regional and global policy.

The ILO urged nations to offer global financial support on job creation and social protection to help narrow the gap.