The number of unemployed workers worldwide has boomed by 28 million people in the five years since the global financial crisis began, leaving 197 million people without jobs last year, according to a new report.
The numbers show a "crisis in labour markets of both advanced economies and developing economies," according to new data from the International Labour Organization.
In 2012 alone, 4 million people joined the unemployment ranks. The figure will swell by another 5.1 million workers this year to 202 million unemployed job seekers, soaring past the all-time record of 199 million jobless people in 2009.
By 2017, some 210.6 million people will be out of work, according to the ILO, an agency of the United Nations based in Geneva. And that doesn't include the hordes of people who have stopped searching for work and dropped out of the labor market entirely, "masking the true extent of the jobs crisis."
Growth is slowing worldwide – with deep deceleration in China, India, Latin America and the Middle East. The Euro area suffered from "a piecemeal approach to financial sector and sovereign debt problems," according to the report.
Investment levels have yet to recover to pre-crisis levels in many nations, due in part to uncertainty over government policies, researchers wrote. Wages, especially in developed nations, are suffering and putting pressure on consumer spending.
The dismal situation has left young people in particularly dire straits. Some 73.8 million job seekers ages 15 to 24 are without work, with many struggling to find employment from the moment they enter the job market.
The youth unemployment rate is expected to increase to 12.9% in 2017 from 12.6% now.
The global jobless rate is expected to remain at 6% through 2017, near its high in 2009.