The International Labour Organization on Monday projected global unemployment to increase by 30 lakh to 20.8 crore in 2023, pushing the joblessness rate to 5.8%.

In its report titled “World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2023”, the United Nations agency predicted that globally new jobs will increase by only 1% this year, a significant deceleration from the 2.3% growth rate in 2022.

The report said that the adverse impact of Covid-19, inflation, rising cost-of living and the geopolitical crises in Ukraine weighs heavily on labour market prospects.

Job growth will remain pessimistic for high-income countries, with close to zero employment growth while the it is projected to surpass pre-pandemic growth trend for low income and lower-middle-income countries, the report said.

The World Bank classifies economies into four categories: low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high income based on gross national income per capita in US dollars.

According to World Bank’s latest assessment, India falls into the lower-middle income category with its gross national income between $1,086 (Rs 88,820 to $4,255 (Rs 3,48,003).

As global employment rate declines, low-income and lower-middle-income countries would struggle to close the gaps with respect to high-income countries which opened during 2021 and 2022, the International Labour Organization also said.

The report noted that women and young professionals fared significantly worse in labour markets.

“Globally, the labour force participation rate of women stood at 47.4% in 2022, compared with 72.3% for men,” said the UN-affiliated body. “This 24.9% point gap means that for every economically inactive man there are two such women.”

“In 2022, around 473 million [47.3 crore] people were interested in finding a job but did not have one,” the report said. “This unmet demand for jobs includes the 205 million [20.5 crore] unemployed people and an additional 268 million [26.8 crore] who wanted employment but did not qualify as unemployed.”