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‘We are now facing a global jobs crisis’, says the ILO

The International Labour Organization reports that, “The global economic crisis is expected to lead to a dramatic increase in the number of people joining the ranks of the unemployed, working poor and those in vulnerable employment…”

“The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that deals with labour issues. Unlike other United Nations specialised agencies, the International Labour Organization has a tripartite governing structure — representing governments, employers and workers.”

50 MILLION PEOPLE COULD BECOME UNEMPLOYED “Its annual Global Employment Trends report…says global unemployment in 2009 could increase over 2007 by a range of 18 million to 30 million workers, and more than 50 million if the situation continues to deteriorate.”

“The number of working poor – people who are unable to earn enough to lift themselves and their families above the US$2 per person, per day, poverty line, may rise up to 1.4 billion, or 45 per cent of all the world’s employed.”

200 MILLION COULD BE PUSHED INTO EXTREME POVERTY “The ILO report also said that in this last scenario some 200 million workers, mostly in developing economies, could be pushed into extreme poverty.”

“ILO Director-General, Juan Somavia….called on the upcoming meeting of the G-20 on 2 April in London, alongside financial issues, to urgently agree on priority measures to promote productive investments, decent work and social protection objectives, and policy coordination.”

The ILO recommends:
“i) wider coverage of unemployment benefits and insurance schemes, re-skilling redundant workers and protecting pensions from devastating declines in financial markets;

ii) public investment in infrastructure and housing, community infrastructure and green jobs, including through emergency public works;

iii) support to small and medium enterprises;

iv) social dialogue at enterprise, sectoral and national levels. If a large number of countries, using their own accumulated reserves, emergency IMF loans and stronger aid mechanisms, put in place coordinated policies in line with the ILO Decent Work Agenda, then the effects of the downturn on enterprises, workers and their families could be cushioned and the recovery better prepared.”

Their full release can be read at

Thank you to Council activist Colin J. Williams for sending me this link.