Our key takeaway: The ILO’s annual report on employment and socioeconomic trends uses the phrase “crisis vortex” to explain the many colliding global challenges we face as we head into 2024. The report finds that many economic indicators appear to be on the upswing, including overall economic growth and decreasing unemployment rates. However, the ILO cautions that these rosy figures conceal deeper challenges, from income and gender inequality, to increasing poverty and decreasing real wages, to overall “economic fragility” of already vulnerable markets in lower-income countries. It also finds that these issues may prove to be structural rather than cyclic, and therefore more difficult to address with quick policy changes. For companies, there is a key role to play for their own workforce to advance equity and improve worker well-being. They can complement national policies and regulations to spur equitable growth by implementing their own initiatives to increase wages, improve pay parity between men and women, improve working conditions, and upskill workers to meet technological advances and improve their earning potential.
The ILO published its 2024 World Employment and Social Outlook Trends (January 2024):