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OECD-ILO tells G20 work to boost jobs

Published on Wednesday, 17 Jul 2013
A file picture taken on June 18, 2012 shows heads of the G20 leading economies posing for a family photo at the convention center in Los Cabos, Mexico. (AFP)

PARIS: The leading 20 nations in the world must work together, and quickly, to boost policies for jobs, the job market and social safety nets, the OECD and International Labour Organisation warned on Wednesday. 

Young people are in a particularly tight spot when trying to get their first job, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the ILO stressed. Some G20 countries are struggling to overcome the effects of budget cuts, tax rises and deep reforms to control public spending, but the OECD-ILO statement highlighted the need for “sustainable” growth. 

Some 20 finance ministers and central bankers meet in Moscow on Friday and Saturday, and on September 5 and 6 there is a G20 summit meeting in Saint Petersburg. 

“The G20 will be assessed by public opinion around the world on its capacity to deliver on the growth and jobs agenda,” the statement said. 

The key was balancing financial help for the unemployed with measures to encourage people “to find rewarding and productive jobs.” 

This meant that all countries had to work together “towards the shared objective of strong, sustainable and balanced growth.” 

In the joint statement before labour ministers from the Group of Twenty (G20) countries meet in Moscow on Thursday and Friday, they said that 93 million people were without work in the G20 economies earlier this year. 

On average, about one third of these people had been out of work for more than a year. 

In advanced economies, jobs had been lost mainly in the sectors of manufacturing and construction, whereas in several emerging countries construction had led the creation of jobs. 

The economies of G20 countries would have to create 67 million jobs to raise the ratio of the people in work to the total workforce to the level before the financial crises began six years ago. 

However “over the last 12 months, unemployment has dropped marginally in half of the G20 countries while it has risen in the other half,” the joint statement said. 

“Unemployment is above 25 per cent in South Africa and Spain, 11 per cent or above in France and Italy and for the EU (European Union) as a whole,” the statement said. 

It was above 7 per cent in Canada, Turkey, Britain and the United States. 

However, it was below 6 per cent in Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia. 

Meanwhile, in most of the countries, the growth of real wages, after allowing for inflation, had slowed down or fallen. 

Increased cooperation on enacting new policies which have been shown to work “would greatly enhance” the effect on employment. 

“It is of utmost importance to restore stronger, sustainable economic growth,” the statement said.



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