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World — More than +440 million jobs needed in the next 10 years, says ILO

03 September 2010

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have issued a stark assessment of the outlook for employment in the wake of the global financial crisis, saying that the world faces major challenges in creating enough quality jobs to sustain growth and development.

The assessment is contained in a discussion document issued for a joint high-level IMF-ILO conference on 13 September 2010 in Oslo, hosted by Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, to explore new ways of forging a sustainable, job-rich economic recovery. The one-day conference on 'The Challenges of Growth, Employment and Social Cohesion' will bring together political, labour and business leaders, as well as leading academics. Lead speakers include President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; Prime Minister George Papandreou of Greece, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of Spain, Finance Minister Christine Lagarde of France, UK Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith, and International Trade Union Confederation General Secretary Sharan Burrow.


The conference will be chaired by IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and ILO Director General Juan Somavia.

"The Great Recession has created a painful legacy of unemployment," Mr. Strauss-Kahn said, "and this devastation threatens the livelihood, security, and dignity of millions of people across the world. The international community must rise to meet this challenge. Now is the time for our collective action."

"We are now seeing signs of a fragile recovery, but for millions of people and enterprises around the world the crisis is far from over", Mr Somavia said. "A jobs-centred growth strategy should be our number one priority. Otherwise, the economic recovery may take years to reach those who need it most, or it may not reach them at all. We must connect our policies with people's legitimate aspirations for a fair chance at a decent job".

The ILO paints a grim picture of the current global employment situation, with 210 million people out of work, the highest level in history, and 80% of the global population without any access to social protection. It also says that "despite impressive gains in recent years, approximately 1.2 billion women and men, or 40% of the world's labour force, still did not earn enough to keep themselves and their families above the $2-a-day poverty level in 2008".

Analysing the longer-term policy challenges of unemployment, the ILO estimates that "in the next 10 years, more than 440 million new jobs will be needed to absorb new entrants into the labour force, and still more to reverse the unemployment caused by the crisis."

The ILO goes on to explain that the pressures of globalisation have increased the vulnerability of workers through increased intensity of work, a shift towards more flexible contracts, diminishing social protections, and decline in workers' bargaining power and voice, adding: "Improving the quality of employment, more productive jobs offering better earnings, is also essential to sustain poverty reduction and development".

To find out more about the conference please click here

 

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