The global jobs crisis
from Merijn Knibbe (editor a.i. as Edward Fullbrook is in India)
The International Labor Organization has published its Global employment trends 2012: preventing a deeper jobs crisis. It’s grim. An excerpt from the executive summary:
The world faces a challenge of creating 600 million jobs over the next decade. … After three years of continuous crisis conditions in global labour markets and against the prospect of a further deterioration of economic activity, there is a backlog of global unemployment of 200 million – an increase of 27 million since the start of the crisis. In addition, more than 400 million new jobs will be needed over the next decade to avoid a further increase in unemployment. Hence, to generate sustainable growth while maintaining social cohesion, the world must rise to the urgent challenge of creating 600 million productive jobs over the next decade, which would still leave 900 million workers living with their families below the US$2 a day poverty line, largely in developing countries. Global labour markets show little improvement … Globally, young people are nearly three times as likely as adults to be unemployed. In addition, an estimated 6.4 million young people have given up hope of finding a job and have dropped out of the labour market altogether. Even those young people who are employed are increasingly likely to find themselves in part-time employment and often on temporary contracts. In developing countries, youth are disproportionately among the working poor … on the present course there is little hope for a substantial improvement in near-term employment prospects for young people.
Falling labour force participation masks an even worse global unemployment situation. In the world as a whole, there were nearly 29 million fewer people in the labour force in 2011 than expected based on pre-crisis trends, with 6.4 million fewer youth and 22.3 million fewer adults. This is equal to nearly 1 per cent of the actual global labour force in 2011, and nearly 15 per cent of the total number of unemployed in the world. If all of these potential workers were available to work and sought work, the number of unemployed would swell to over 225 million, or to a rate of 6.9 per cent, versus the actual rate of 6 per cent.
Globally, the employment-to-population ratio declined sharply during the crisis, from 61.2 per cent in 2007 to 60.2 per cent in 2010. This represents the largest such decline on record (since 1991) … As the global economy is slowing down again, the convergence of living standards across countries has also been slowing … Progress has been made in reducing extreme poverty among workers at the global level, but working poverty remains widespread. Among the 900 million working poor, there were an estimated 456 million workers around the world living in extreme poverty below the US$1.25 a day poverty line in 2011, a reduction of 233 million since 2000 and a decline of 38 million since 2007. However, this global aggregate is heavily influenced by the dramatic decline in extreme working poverty in the East Asia region, where, owing to rapid economic growth and poverty reduction in China, the number of poor workers has declined by 158 million since 2000 and by 24 million since 2007. Moreover, there has been a marked slowdown in the rate of progress in reducing working poverty since 2008
And about Financial Market Reforms:
In particular, it can be shown that the labour market effects of financial regulation will depend on the extent to which financial reforms in the domestic sector are being coordinated with changes in the international financial architecture. Chiefly, this can be related to the fact that increased regulation in both areas would yield a double dividend in the form of more stable financing conditions and a more equitable income distribution, which helps strengthen domestic demand. In the absence of changes in either domestic or international financial regulation, reform measures would not have sufficient positive effects to outweigh some of the costs they bring about, at least in the short run