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Job creation

ILO Director-General calls for more public funding to create jobs in the global economy

Guy Ryder says 4 million jobs could be generated in advanced economies and EU alone with more public cash injections.

Press release | 28 July 2014
Guy Ryder with Mariano Rajoy
MADRID – ILO Director-General Guy Ryder has highlighted the key role that active labour market policies can play in strengthening the weak economic recovery currently underway around the world, at the end of a two-day visit to Spain.

“There are simply not enough public funds going to employment creation,” said Ryder. “Even in OECD countries with advanced labour market institutions, only 0.6 per cent of GDP went to promoting active labour market policies in 2011. Almost 4 million jobs could be created in advanced economies and the EU alone if this figure was doubled.”

During his two-day visit to Spain, Ryder held meetings with Spanish President Mariano Rajoy, King Felipe VI, Secretary General of SEGIB, Rebeca Grynspan, and Pedro Sánchez, Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, among others. He also attended forums on public employment policy and the new economy.

The latest figures published last week show that Spain’s unemployment has fallen to its lowest level in two years. “This is welcomed news,” said Ryder, “although there are 5 million workers in Spain who are still unemployed. And we need not just more jobs, but decent jobs.”

King Felipe VI and Guy Ryder
Ryder also referred to the complaint filed by two Spanish unions (UGT and CCOO) against the Spanish government for violation of the right to strike. He said the ILO’s Committee on Freedom of Association would examine the case.

Youth joblessness still high

According to the latest ILO figures, Spain’s unemployment rate stands at 25.9 per cent – the second highest in Europe – while youth unemployment affects more than 50 per cent of the 15-24 age group.

Ryder said youth are particularly at risk, not just in Spain but worldwide, with youth unemployment rates double that of adults. “Many youth are neither in employment nor in education,” he added. “This means that countries are not able to create the employment opportunities they need despite having the best educated generation in human history.”

The head of the ILO blamed “a lack of demand for relatively slow improvements on the global labour market.” He also said that fiscal consolidation and weak private consumption have had a negative impact on production growth, while growing income inequalities, insufficient investment in quality education and training have also affected labour markets.

“The challenges we face are not just about recovering from the crisis,” concluded Ryder. “There are also more long-term, structural challenges ahead, such as the growing urbanization process, the rapid changes in technology and the threats to the environment. These also have a strong impact on the world of work and deserve our attention.”