There are 30 million more people without jobs around the world than before the financial crisis began, the head of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said on Friday.
The figures come amid a growing debate over the merits of austerity, especially in Europe, where painful budget-cutting has pushed jobless levels as high as 25% in some countries, including debt-hit Greece and Spain.
"Global unemployment is still more than 30 million higher than before the crisis," said Guy Ryder, director-general. "And nearly 40 million more people have stopped looking for work."
"With the world's workforce growing by around 40 million a year we face large and growing decent-work deficits stretching out years ahead. Of those employed, 900 million are unable to earn enough to lift themselves above the $2 a day poverty line."
The figure would be 55% lower if the poverty reduction trend seen before the crisis had been maintained, said Ryder.