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Future of Work: ILO

  • 24 Jan 2019
  • 4 min read

Recently International Labour Organization (ILO)’s Global Commission on the Future of Work has published Future of work report 2019 titled " Work for a brighter future".

  • The report calls on governments to take steps to address the challenges caused by unprecedented transformations going on in the world of work.

Key Findings

  • According to ILO, Globally 190 million people are unemployed, while 300 million workers live in extreme poverty. At the same time wage gaps are growing at a time of declining wage growth.
  • Technological advances – artificial intelligence, automation and robotics – will create new jobs, but those who lose their jobs in this transition may be the least equipped to seize the new opportunities.
  • Adopting sustainable practices with clean technologies will create millions of jobs but other jobs will disappear as countries scale back their carbon- and resource-intensive industries.For example:
    • Implementing the Paris Climate Agenda could create 24 million new jobs, but it could still be brutal to the 6 million workers expected to lose their jobs in the transition to a greener economy.
  • Changes in demographics are significant as expanding youth populations in some parts of the world and ageing populations in others may place pressure on labour markets and social security systems, yet in these shifts lie new possibilities to afford care and inclusive, active societies.
  • The future of work requires a strong and responsive social protection system based on the principles of solidarity and risk sharing, which supports people’s needs over the life cycle
  • There is an urgent need to seize the opportunities presented by these transformative changes to create a brighter future and deliver economic security, equal opportunity and social justice – and ultimately reinforce the fabric of our societies.


  • A universal labour guarantee that protects fundamental workers' rights, an adequate living wage, limits on hours of work and safe and healthy workplaces.
  • Guaranteed social protection from birth to old age that supports people's needs over the life cycle.
  • A universal entitlement to lifelong learning that enables people to skill, reskill and upskill.
  • Managing technological change to boost decent work, including an international governance system for digital labour platforms.
  • Greater investments in the care, green and rural economies.
  • Development of the rural economy, where the future of many the world’s workers lies, should become a priority.
  • A transformative and measurable agenda for gender equality.
  • Reshaping business incentives to encourage long-term investments.
  • Place people at the centre of economic and social policy.
  • International governance system be set up to police the gig economy, and ensure that ‘digital labour platforms’ such as Uber and Swiggy respect certain minimum rights and protections.

International Labour Organization

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) was founded in 1919 to promote social justice and thereby contribute to universal and lasting peace.
  • The ILO is responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards.
  • It is the only tripartite United Nations agency that brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape policies and programmes promoting decent work for all.

Gig Economy

  • A gig economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.
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