ILO warns of deeper jobs recession

Nov. 1, 2011 at 1:10 AM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- A new and deeper global job recession looms that would affect economic recovery and could unleash social unrest in many countries, a U.N. agency warns.

In a report ahead of the Group of 20 summit of leaders of the most industrialized countries, the International Labor Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, said the global economy is on the verge of a deeper jobs recession.

"We have reached the moment of truth. We have a brief window of opportunity to avoid a major double-dip in employment," said Raymond Torres, director of the ILO International Institute for Labor Studies, which issued the report.

The report said a stalled global economic recovery has begun to dramatically affect labor markets. It said current trends indicate it will take at least five years to return employment in advanced economies to pre-crisis levels or one year later than earlier projected.

The report said 80 million jobs need to be created in the next two years to return to pre-crisis employment rates, but the recent slowdown suggests the world economy is likely to create only half of the jobs needed.

The risk of social unrest as a result has risen in more than 45 of the 119 countries studied, especially in the EU countries and the Arab region, the report said.

The slowdown in employment comes at a time of an already precarious environment when global unemployment is at its highest point ever, exceeding 200 million worldwide.

The current situation results from enterprises being in a weaker position to retain workers and governments under austerity constraints are reluctant to maintain or adopt new job- and income-support programs.

The report urged governments to resist cuts in social programs and increase active labor market spending.

The G20 summit will be held Thursday and Friday in Cannes, France.

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