Job creation during the 20th century

A long-term, global perspective is needed to understand fully the employment problem and the prospects for eliminating it. Over the past four decades, the world economy has generated more than one billion jobs, more than were created during the previous four centuries. If past trends continue, it will create another 1.3 billion jobs during the next 35 years. The current anxiety in the West is similar to that which the United States passed through in the 1890s when agricultural mechanization displaced 4.4 million farm workers, generating double digit unemployment and visions of a dismal future. Yet, over the last 100 years, employment in the United States grew by nearly 100 million jobs or 400 per cent. Between 1990 and 2005, it increased by another 23 million. Between 1990 and 2005, it increased by another 23 million. During the last 15 years, total employment in the EU-15 rose by 26.6 million or 19 percent. The same process of structural transition is repeating itself today and raising the same anxieties. Contrary to common belief, the US employment rate, the percentage of total population with jobs, has risen steadily throughout the century from 38 per cent to 46 per cent of the total population and reached 48 per cent in 2005.


Global Population, Employment and Unemployment 1996-2006*

Source: ILO Global Employment Trends 2007(2006 are preliminary estimates)

OECD Countries

This trend is true for the industrial nations as a whole. Between 1960 an