The global financial crisis has led to the highest level of unemployment ever recorded – 210 million people.
This has sharpened prior international concern about the failure of the global economy to generate enough decent work opportunities in all countries.
Unfortunately, official unemployment is only the tip of the iceberg. Millions are working in poverty. Many women and men are working part-time when they want a full-time job.
Many are simply too discouraged to keep on looking for work.
Half of the global work force is in different forms of vulnerable employment.
And four out of five have no access to basic social protection.
We have around 45 million young people entering the labour market each year.
The world has a serious fairness challenge.
Despite this grim scenario, mostly coming from an imbalanced globalization that was moving in the wrong direction, we are now seeing signs of a fragile recovery.
But for millions of people and enterprises around the world, the crisis is far from over.
We must concentrate on a jobs-centred growth strategy as our number one priority. If we don’t, the economic recovery may take years to reach those who need it most, or it may not reach them at all.
We cannot let that happen. We must connect our policies with people’s legitimate aspirations for a fair chance at a decent job.
That’s why we are organizing this conference.
To address immediate concerns, but also to help build the kind of future we need.
To redress past imbalances so we can have sustainable, balanced and above all, inclusive growth.
We must deal with rising inequalities, a growing informal economy, job-weak growth patterns, productivity gains with stagnant wages, absence of basic social protection, and many other shortcomings.
Though the IMF and the ILO have different mandates and policy tools, we have come together to tackle the challenges of growth, employment and social cohesion. This Conference hosted by the Prime Minister of Norway will explore the best ways to develop greater policy convergence in a highly segmented multilateral system.