Unemployment 30m higher than before crisis - ILO
JAPAN: There are now 30 million more people without jobs around the
world than before the global financial crisis began, the head of the
International Labour Organization said in remarks published Friday.
The figures come amid a growing debate over the merits of austerity,
especially in Europe, where painful budget-cutting has pushed jobless
levels as high as 25 percent in some countries, including debt-hit
Greece and Spain.
“Global unemployment is still more than 30 million higher than before
the crisis,” said Director-General Guy Ryder.
“And nearly 40 million more women and men have stopped looking for
work.” He said around a third of the more than 200 million unemployed
around the world are under 25.
“With the world's workforce growing by around 40 million a year we
face large and growing decent-work deficits stretching out years ahead.
“Of those employed, 900 million women and men are unable to earn enough
to lift themselves and their families above the $2 a day poverty line.”
Ryder said that figure would be 55 percent lower if the poverty
reduction trend seen before the crisis had been maintained.
“This means that the damage of austerity measures has been more
profound than previously thought. “There is now an urgent need to
revisit the timelines for fiscal balances, taking a much longer view of
the time it will take to repair the damage done by the financial
excesses of the pre-crisis period.” On Thursday, International Monetary
Fund chief Christine Lagarde said too much austerity too quickly could
cause difficulties, particularly if a number of economies were chasing
targets at the same time. In a news conference Lagarde said the IMF was
happy for debt-addled Greece to have an extra two years to get its
fiscal house in order, as new figures showed that one in four Greeks is
“Instead of frontloading heavily it is sometimes better -- given the
circumstances and the fact that many countries at the same time go
through that same set of policies with the view of reducing their
deficits -- it is sometimes better to have a bit more time,” she said.
“This is what we've advocated for Portugal, this is what we've
advocated for Spain and this is what we are advocating for Greece.
“I have said repeatedly that an additional two years was necessary
for the country to actually face the fiscal consolidation programme.”
Lagarde also warned that while the world economy was still expanding
“it's certainly not growing as it should to create jobs around the
world”, adding that it was crucial “to make sure there are jobs
available for young people”.
Greece is going through a painful round of austerity and spending
cuts imposed on the country in return for promised loans and debt relief
worth a total of about 347 billion euros ($448 billion) since 2010.
This week the OECD said unemployment in advanced countries stood at
7.9 percent, or around 47.8 million people, 13.1 million more than at
the onset of the financial crisis in 2008.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which
provides analysis and policy guidance for 34 leading countries, noted
that unemployment rates continued to vary widely in August. The OECD
said unemployment in Spain also stood at around 25 percent, while in
Portugal and Ireland it was 15.9 percent and 15 percent respectively.