Unemployment predicted to peak in 2010

Unemployment in Western markets is set to peak in 2010, according to findings from professional services firm Towers Watson.

The survey of investment managers predicts that unemployment in 2010 will peak in developed Western markets (10.5% in US, 8.5% in the UK, 10.7% in the Eurozone) but improve in all markets during the next decade.

Western markets are also predicted to experience real GDP growth this year with the US, UK, Eurozone and Australia predicted to grow by 2.5%, 1.7%, 1.5% and 3% respectively.

Elsewhere, February’s Economic & Labour Market Review shows that underemployment has risen sharply.

Underemployment describes a situation where someone wants to work more hours than is usual or stated in their contract.

And the survey shows that the underemployment rate rose from 6.6% in 2005 to 9.9% last year. The volume of underemployment, in terms of extra work wanted, was 31.6m hours in the Q3 2009. This is 6.2m hours higher than in the previous year, and represents 3.4% of the total hours worked in Q3 2009.