In a new report, the International Labour Organization — the employment research and policy arm of the United Nations — concludes that there is no fast recovery in sight for the global labor market. From an ILO news release and summary:
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, says the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The ILO’s “World of Work Report 2012: Better Jobs for a Better Economy” says that around 50 million jobs are still missing compared to the situation that existed before the crisis. It also warns that a new and more problematic phase of the global jobs crisis is emerging.
The ILO identifies four key factors contributing to its conclusions:
First, this is due to the fact that many governments, especially in advanced economies, have shifted their priority to a combination of fiscal austerity and tough labour market reforms. . . .
Second, in advanced economies, many job seekers are demoralized and are losing skills, something which is affecting their chances of finding a new job. . . .
Third, in 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. . . .
Fourth, the social climate has aggravated in many parts of the world and may entail further social unrest.
Job-friendly public policies
The report acknowledges that there are no easy solutions. However, it “argues that if a job-friendly policy-mix of taxation and increased expenditure in public investment and social benefits is put in place, approximately 2 million jobs could be created over the next year in advanced economies.”
The trends and underlying data marshalled by the ILO paint a very disturbing picture that largely mirrors what we’re seeing at the ground level. The Great Recession continues to define the world we live in, and the notion of a “jobless recovery” (an all-time oxymoron) has taken hold even in nations where other economic indicators are pointing up.
As I’ve said many times on this blog, it’s not as if we’ve run out of important, meaningful work that needs doing. Something is fundamentally wrong with economic structures that cannot match those needs with decent jobs at decent pay.
For the ILO’s detailed news release and report summary, go here.
For a complete copy of the ILO report (128 pp., pdf, free of charge), go here.