The lack of jobs in many countries will not be alleviated to pre-crisis levels in the next few years because not enough new positions are being created amid austerity measures and low investment levels, the UN labour organization said Monday in Geneva.
Global employment stood at 60.3 per cent last year, which means that there were still 50 million jobs less than in 2008, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in its World of Work Report 2012.
Labour markets have been recovering at only low rates in industrialized countries, while employment growth in developing regions has slowed along with economic growth.
The ILO criticized European governments for focusing on balancing their budgets and losing sight of the need to create jobs.
"The narrow focus of many eurozone countries on fiscal austerity is deepening the jobs crisis and could even lead to another recession in Europe," said Raymond Torres, the head of the ILO's research institute.
This trend might spill over to developing countries, he warned.
The UN agency said there was a mistaken belief that budget cuts lead to economic growth, which then translates into more jobs.
"In over 90 per cent of the countries that have implemented austerity measures, unemployment rates are still above their 2007 levels," it said.
Lack of credit, low investment levels in companies, and scrapping of labour rights in many countries were cited as additional factors weighing on labour markets.
The report linked the weak recovery of employment figures with a growing risk of social unrest, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, but also in Western countries and Eastern Europe.
Out of 106 countries polled, more than half reported a rising risk of unrest last year.
The ILO said developed countries could create up to 2.1 million jobs in the next 12 months by increasing public spending by 1 per cent.
If not, only 800,000 jobs would be added in this group of countries, where 43.5 million workers are without a job.