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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Il faut créer 600 millions d’emplois dans le monde

by Ramine Abadie

600 Million Jobs Needed in the World

Translated Friday 3 February 2012, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Derek Hanson

That’s what the International Labour Organization says is needed to eliminate unemployment (200 million people are jobless) and to meet demographic changes.

“The world faces the urgent challenge of creating 600 million productive jobs over the next decade in order to generate sustainable growth and maintain social cohesion,” according to the annual report on global employment by the International Labour Organization (ILO), a UN agency, in its latest annual report on global employment.

Four years after the stock exchange crash and at a time when the world seems to find itself – due to the fall in world demand, the euro crisis, and austerity policies in Europe – facing the prospect of a further deterioration of economic activity, there is a backlog of global unemployment of “200 million people around the world,” according to ILO figures.

Moreover, the ILO says that more than 400 million new jobs will be needed over the next decade to absorb the estimated growth of the labor force each year. However, the ILO says the recovery that started in 2009 “has been short-lived and that there are still 27 million more unemployed workers than at the start of the crisis in 2008.” And one should even add to the unemployed “the 29 million discouraged workers.” If these discouraged workers were counted as unemployed, then global unemployment would swell from the current 197 million to 225 million, and the unemployment rate would rise from 6 per cent to 6.9 per cent.

Young people, who are among those hit hardest by the jobs crisis, face high unemployment and an absence of job prospects. This is one of the most alarming issues. According to the Global Employment Trends 2012 report, 74.8 million youth aged 15-24 were unemployed in 2011. And at a time when the global youth unemployment rate, at 12.7 per cent (a full percentage point above the pre-crisis level), is twice the world average, young people “are nearly three times as likely as adults to be unemployed.” This situation is confirmed in the great European economies (Spain, France…)

“The jobs crisis continues unabated, with one in three workers worldwide – or an estimated 1.1 billion people – either unemployed or living in poverty on less than 1.50 euros a day”, said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. “What is needed is that job creation in the real economy must become our number one priority.”

And whereas Europe has fallen into a sort of austerity trance, the ILO is pleading for growth policies and measures to support job creation, because “only these policies can foster a sustainable recovery.”

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