KARACHI - The overwhelming job crisis has alarmed the whole world and not even spared the big guns of the international economic community. However, the developed countries have been entirely stunned over this roaring issue. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) predicts that global unemployment would increase by 18 million to 51 million people this year from 2007 figures, depending on the extent and length of the economic crisis. In simple words, the conditions are sharply moving from bad to worst. According to the annual Global Employment Trends report conducted by ILO, the global economic crisis is expected to lead to a dramatic increase in the number of people joining the ranks of the unemployed. Based on new developments in the labour market and depending on the timeliness and effectiveness of recovery efforts, the report said that global unemployment in 2009 could increase over 2007 by a range of 18 million to 30 million workers and more than 50 million if the situation continues to deteriorate. The ILO report also depicted that in the last scenario, some 200 million workers, mostly in developing economies, could be pushed into extreme poverty. "The ILO message is realistic, not alarmist. We are now facing a global jobs crisis. Many governments are aware and acting but more decisive and coordinated international action is needed to avert a global social recession. Progress in poverty reduction is unravelling and middle classes worldwide are weakening. The political and security implications are daunting," said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. According to November 2009 IMF forecasts, the global unemployment rate would rise to 6.1 percent in 2009 compared to 5.7 percent in 2007, resulting in an increase of the number of unemployed by 18 million people in 2009 in comparison with 2007. If the economic outlook deteriorates beyond what was envisaged in November 2008, which is likely, the global unemployment rate could rise to 6.5 percent, corresponding to an increase of the global number of unemployed by 30 million people in comparison with 2007. In a current worst-case scenario, the global unemployment rate could rise to 7.1 percent and result in an increase in the global number of unemployed of more than 50 million people. The ILO report notes that in 2008, North Africa and the Middle East still had the highest unemployment rates at 10.3 and 9.4 percent respectively, followed by Central and South Eastern Europe (non EU) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) at 8.8 per cent, sub-Saharan Africa at 7.9 per cent and Latin America at 7.3 per cent. The lowest unemployment rate was once again observed in East Asia at 3.8 per cent followed by South Asia and South-East Asia and the Pacific, where respectively 5.4 and 5.7 percent of the labour force was unemployed in 2008. The three Asian regions - South Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific and East Asia, accounted for 57 percent of global employment creation in 2008. In the Developed Economies and European Union region, on the other hand, net employment creation in 2008 was negative, minus 900,000 which explains in part the low global employment creation in this year. Compared with 2007, the largest increase in a regional unemployment rate was observed in the Developed Economies and European Union region, from 5.7 to 6.4 percent. The number of unemployed in the region jumped by 3.5 million in one year reaching 32.3 million in 2008. According to the study, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia stand out as regions with extremely harsh labour market conditions and with the highest shares of working poor of all regions. Although the trend has been declining over the past ten years, around four fifths of the employed were still classified as working poor in these regions in 2007. The economic crisis of 2008 has deepened the concern over the social impacts of globalisation which the ILO had previously raised. Stressing the need to take measures to support vulnerable groups in the labour market, such as youth and women, the ILO report observes that a huge labour potential remains untapped worldwide. Economic growth and development could be much higher if people are given the chance of a decent job through productive investment and active labour market policies. The number of working poor people, who are unable to earn enough to lift themselves and their families, would be afforded no struggle to resist the predicted ghost of economy crisis but to die at hardship. Under the present scenario, about 200 million workers could be pushed into extreme poverty with incomes as low as $1.25 a day, of which 140 million would be in Asia. There is a very strong need to tackle this risen storm of job crisis. It requires the governments worldwide to put an emphasis on employment creation in their fiscal stimulus packages and to improve social protection systems for workers and the unemployed.