36 per cent of the emerging and developing world live in poverty – on a daily income of less than $3.10 says the International Labour Organisation (ILO). ILO’s Special Adviser on Social and Economic Issues Raymond Torres explained that the world’s 30 per cent poor hold two per cent of the global income.
It stated: “It is estimated that almost a third of the extremely or moderately poor in developing economies have jobs. However, their employment is vulnerable in nature. They are sometimes unpaid, concentrated in low-skilled occupations and, in the absence of social protection, rely almost exclusively on labour income. Among developed countries, more workers have wage and salaried employment, but that does not stop them from falling into poverty”.
It is estimated that, in 2012, over 300 million people in developed countries were living in poverty (defined in relative terms on the basis of incomes representing less than 60 per cent of the median income). In emerging and developing countries, more than half of all children under the age of 15 live in extreme or moderate poverty. In developed countries, 36 per cent of all children live below the relative poverty line.
Almost one-third of the extreme and moderate poor in emerging and developing countries actually have a job. However, these jobs are vulnerable in nature: they are sometimes unpaid, concentrated in low-skilled occupations and, in the absence of social protection, the poor rely almost exclusively on labour income. In addition, two-thirds of the jobs are in typically low-productivity agricultural activities.
In fact, more than 80 per cent of the working poor in developed countries are in wage and salaried employment. Without an adequate supply of decent work opportunities, it will be difficult for the working poor to improve their working conditions, acquire a career and thus lift themselves and their families out of poverty.