The bleak worldwide employment picture is worsening and is, in some ways, irreversible, according to a United Nations agency report of global unemployment.

"This is not a normal employment slowdown," said the World of Work Report 2012, an annual survey of the global job market. "Four years into the global crisis, labour market imbalances are becoming more structural, and therefore more difficult to eradicate. Certain groups, such as the long-term unemployed, are at risk of exclusion from the labour market. This means that they would be unable to obtain new employment even if there were a strong recovery."

The report, released Monday by the International Labor Organization, based in Geneva, said there are 50 million fewer jobs worldwide than at the start of the economic meltdown in 2008. It said recovery "has also stalled in other advanced economies, such as Japan and the United States" and "jobs deficits remain acute in much of the Arab region and Africa."

The findings were no surprise to Pearl Kamer, chief economist for the Long Island Association, who said the problem may be more stubborn because potential workers' skills are not keeping up with the demands of the few businesses that are hiring.

"There's a structural mismatch of the skill sets of the unemployed and the industries with emerging jobs," she said. And the industries where those workers' skills were applicable are shrinking, further complicating the problem, she said.

"This crisis has been transformational," she said, adding that it is different from previous job deficits because, in past recessions, people became unemployed only temporarily because the jobs returned. "Many of the jobs lost are not coming back. The ones that are being created are in technology-intensive industries."

Global unemployment is on track to hit 202 million or 6.1 percent in 2012, the report said, adding that in Europe, austerity measures have not helped.

On Long Island, Kamer said, as of March, the unemployment rate was 7.2 percent, 6.7 percent in Nassau and 7.7 percent in Suffolk, slightly more than last year in both counties at that time.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in March, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Kamer agreed with recommendations in the report calling for increasing so-called aggregate demand by keeping interest rates low to spark business investment and spending for goods and services.That strategy is being employed by the Federal Reserve Bank, she said, which announced earlier this year that it would keep interest rates near zero through much of 2014.

Kamer also recommended an investment in education and training to match workers with the jobs in growth industries.

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