International Labour Organisation warns of new, deeper jobs recession

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The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has said that the global economy is on the verge of a new and deeper jobs recession that will further delay global economic recovery and could ignite social unrest in “scores of countries”.

Raymond Torres, director of the ILO’s International Institute for Labour Studies, said: “We have reached the moment of truth. We have a brief window of opportunity to avoid a major double-dip in employment.”

On the eve of the G20 leaders’ summit, the World of Work Report 2011: Making markets work for jobs says that the stalled global economic recovery has begun to dramatically affect labour markets and that it will take at least five years for employment to return to pre-crisis levels.

The ILO report indicates that 80 million jobs need to be created over the next two years to reach pre-crisis employment rates. However, the recent slowdown in growth suggests that the world economy is likely to create only half the jobs required.

The report also features a “social unrest” index, which shows discontent over the lack of jobs and anger over perceptions that the burden of the crisis is not being shared fairly. It says that the risk of unrest is increasing in 45 of the 119 countries examined and that this is particularly the case in advanced economies, notably in the EU and the Arabic-speaking region.

Nearly two-thirds of advanced economies and half of emerging and developing economies are experiencing a slowdown in employment, according to the report. This comes on top of an already precarious situation in which global unemployment is at its highest level ever, in excess of 200 million.

In the report’s introduction, Torres adds: “No country can develop with ever-rising public debts and deficits. However, efforts to reduce public debt and deficits have disproportionately and counterproductively focused on labour market and social programmes.”