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Global job crisis showing no signs of recovery – ILO

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Despite signs that economic growth has resumed in some regions, the global employment situation is alarming and shows no sign of recovery in the near future, said the International Labour Organization (ILO) April 29, 2012 after releasing a major report titled “World of Work Report 2012: Better Jobs for a Better Economy”.

The report said around 50 million jobs are still missing compared to the situation that existed before the global economic crisis. It also warned that a new and more problematic phase of the global jobs crisis is emerging.

Giving factors that has contributed to job crises, the ILO indicated that many governments, especially in advanced economies, have shifted their priority to a combination of fiscal austerity and tough labour market reforms. Such measures, the report said are having devastating consequences on labour markets in general and job creation in particular.

“The narrow focus of many Eurozone countries on fiscal austerity is deepening the jobs crisis and could even lead to another recession in Europe”, said Mr. Raymond Torres, Director of the ILO Institute for International Labour Studies and lead author of the report.

Countries that have chosen job-centred macroeconomic policies have achieved better economic and social outcomes”, added Mr. Torres.

Second, in advanced economies, the report noted many jobseekers are demoralized and are losing skills, something which is affecting their chances of finding a new job.

Thirdly with most advanced economies, many of the new jobs are precarious. “Non-standard forms of employment are on the rise in 26 out of the 50 economies with available information,” it added.

However, the ILO cited few countries that have managed to generate jobs while improving the quality of employment, or at least one aspect of it. For example, in Brazil, Indonesia and Uruguay employment rates have increased while the incidence of informal employment has declined. This was mainly due to the introduction of well-designed employment and social policies.

Fourth, the social climate has aggravated in many parts of the world and may entail further social unrest. According to the report’s Social Unrest Index, 57 out of 106 countries with available information showed a risk of increased social unrest in 2011 compared to 2010. The two regions with the largest increases are sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa.

The report says that fiscal austerity combined with labour market deregulation will not promote employment prospects in the short term.

However, the report argues that if a job-friendly policy-mix of taxation and increased expenditure in public investment and social benefits is put in place, approximately two million jobs could be created over the next year in advanced economies.

By Ekow Quandzie

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