Nearly every leader here mentioned the jobs challenge.
On a global scale we need at least 50 million new jobs each year to keep up with the growth of the working age population and steadily reduce unemployment just to pre-crisis levels.
Labour force participation rates are falling when they should be rising. Gallup CEO Jim Clifton has stated on the evidence of surveys in 150 countries: “What the whole world wants is a good job.”
Since London and Pittsburgh this is the issue where the people on the streets hope for results out of G20 meetings.
The focus of your Los Cabos Action Plan on decent work, incomes, quality jobs, youth employment, investment, important labour market measures, can help to turn what risks becoming a vicious downward spiral into a virtuous upward spiral.
Macroeconomic and other recovery policies need to set quantifiable targets for job creation. This can be done within your framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
The report you requested in Cannes from the ILO, the OECD, the IMF and the World Bank highlights the scale of the challenge of job creation.
As G20 leaders you face the challenge of constructing a policy consensus in which countries make commitments internationally which both add up to a coherent global strategy and also responds to national political needs and demands. This is not easy but it is doable.
G20 Leaders can point the way to concrete actions. Here are four suggestions.
- First, employment-friendly investment in infrastructure and other job-intensive sectors along the lines of the practical proposals of the B20 and L20.
- Second, your actions need to put the financial sector at the service of the real economy.
They are the main job creating engines. Some form of public guarantee to break out of the risk-averse syndrome that is dampening entrepreneurship and innovation in the real economy will have to be considered.
- Third, tackling youth employment.
I believe it can be useful in both your national decisions and for your work through the G20 Youth Employment Task Force.
If I may take words from Aung San Suu Kyi when she spoke to our Conference a few days ago: “…It is not so much joblessness as hopelessness that threatens our future. Unemployed youth lose confidence in the society that has failed to give them the chance to realize their potential.”
- Fourth, expanded access to basic social protection.
The ILO constituents unanimously adopted last week a path-breaking new international labour standard setting out a strategy for building nationally defined social protection floors. And following your request, ILO, World Bank, the UN and other organizations have set up a Social Protection Inter-agency Board for multilateral cooperation on this matter.
To conclude, in the wake of Rio+20, we need to blend coherently employment and macroeconomic policies, social and environmental policies, trade and development policies within a sustainable development vision.
This will require political leadership to promote out-of-the-box thinking by finance, trade, environment, labour and other ministries unaccustomed to integrated policy analysis.
The Los Cabos Summit is pointing the way forward and much urgent work remains for all of us in the months and years ahead.