The International Labour Organization has warned that unemployment worldwide has reached alarming levels and that few new jobs are being created.

The UN body says global unemployment is expected to reach 212 million this year - up six million from last year.

The ILO's ''World of Work Report 2012'' says fiscal austerity and labour market reforms have had "devastating consequences" for employment, while mostly failing to cut deficits.

The ILO report adds that the situation is likely to worsen as global growth slows and more people enter the workforce.

The report says there is no likelihood of the jobs market returning to pre-economic crisis levels before 2016 and warns that governments risk fueling unrest unless they combine tighter spending with job creation.

The report says about 50 million jobs have disappeared since the 2008 financial crisis - and that trends were especially worrying in Europe, where nearly two-thirds of countries had seen unemployment go up since 2010.

The ILO report blames austerity policies for reducing small business' access to loans, and urges governments to restore credit to small companies, strengthen labour market safety nets and adopt measures to help young workers and other vulnerable groups.