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Developing countries see swelling middle class

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Developed countries have on average seen their unemployment rate stabilise at around 8.5 percent, up from 5.8 percent before the crisis, while developing countries suffered only a brief hike before their jobless rate fell back to around pre-crisis levels of 5.4 percent, the report said.

And the crisis has affected working conditions everywhere.

“Many developing countries, notably in Latin America and Asia, are making efforts to tackle inequalities and improve job quality as well as social protection,” lead author of the ILO report Moazam Mahmood said.

“By contrast,” he said, “a number of advanced economies, notably in Europe, seem to be going in the opposite direction.”

– Migration patterns shifting –

The shift in opportunities is meanwhile impacting migration patterns.

Some 231.5 million people last year were living in a country other than the one they were born in, the report said.

While the European Union by far remains the favoured destination, with 51 percent of migrants settled there, migrants have since the crisis increasingly been moving between developing countries, the ILO said.

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More and more educated young people from crisis-hit developed countries are also emigrating to emerging economies, the report found.

“Already south-south migration is on the rise while workers are also leaving advanced economies, particularly some hard-hit European countries, for work opportunities in developing countries,” Mahmood said.

Some 213 million people will enter the labour market over the next five years — 200 million of them in emerging and developing countries, the ILO said, voicing optimism that most of the new jobs created will provide a decent living.

“For the first time in history, over the next several years, most new jobs in the developing world are likely to be of sufficient quality to allow workers and their families to live above the equivalent of the poverty line in the United States,” the report said.

Despite its optimism, ILO acknowledged that 85 percent of the workforce in the developing world will still be living below the US-equivalent poverty line in 2018.

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