ILO predicts growth of unemployment in Central Asia

Senior business correspondent

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), Central Asia is going to face a higher rate of unemployment this year. Like Europe, this region is suffering from the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine.

However, the growth of unemployment is going to be moderate, the ILO reported. More than three million people are expected to lose their jobs in 2023 in addition to 208 million people who are already unemployed. This is about 5.8% of the global workforce.

Beyond the gap in employment, job quality remains a key concern. The projected slowdown is likely to force workers to accept jobs of lower quality than they might enjoy in better economic conditions, the ILO report said. With prices rising faster than nominal wages, workers will experience rapidly declining disposable incomes even when they keep their current jobs, the report highlighted.

In 2022, the labor force participation rate of women was relatively low and stood at 47.4%, compared to 72.3% for men. In Central Asia, the rate was 48.5% for women and 64.3% for men. Young people (aged 15–24) face severe difficulties in securing decent employment. Their unemployment rate is three times as high as that of adults.

The war in Ukraine, uneven recovery from the pandemic and ongoing disruptions in supply chains have driven stagflation, the first period of simultaneously high inflation and low growth since the 1970s, the survey said.

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