International consultations

International policymakers and global leaders give a boost to employment

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, ILO Director-General Juan Somavia, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and World Bank President Robert Zoellick made a common appeal to intensify global efforts in tackling unemployment at a joint meeting held on 28 April at the German Chancellery in Berlin.

News | 29 April 2010

Leaders in Berlin welcomed the progress achieved so far in countering the crisis, including the extraordinary collaborative fiscal stimulus policies, especially within the framework of the G20 summit process. “These endeavours have to be accompanied by policy measures to strengthen employment and to address the social consequences of the crisis, building on the Global Jobs Pact approach adopted at the ILO International Labour Conference of 2009”, they said in a joint press release.

While recognizing the role G-20 countries are playing in developing appropriate exit strategies, it is paramount to cooperate within diverse networks of national governments, international organizations and other stakeholders in addressing the impact of the crisis on low-income countries and vulnerable populations and strengthening growth in the long-perspective. This is the conclusion of the joint meeting between Germany, OECD, WTO, ILO, IMF and the World Bank.

The recently concluded G-20 Labour and Employment Ministers Meeting in Washington D.C. highlighted the ILO Global Jobs Pact as a “significant contribution to the creation of new jobs and the reinforcement of social protection.” In the continuous dialogue process within the G-20 Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth, the international organizations’ expertise on macroeconomic, fiscal and structural policies can provide an invaluable input.

“By further intensifying their own cooperation, the IMF, the World Bank, the ILO, the OECD and the WTO can continue to be valuable partners for governments when it comes to designing a more sustainable global economy,” the joint press release said.

2010 opened with record levels of global unemployment estimated by the ILO to total 212 million. However unemployment could still increase in a number of mainly advanced countries during the year or at best only stabilize at high levels. ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said “Although most G-20 countries have positive growth projections for 2010, unemployment is forecast to increase, or at best not fall. Reducing the time lag between output growth and employment creation in socially acceptable ways is central. This is what the ILO Global Jobs Pact is about.” The ILO has recently estimated that overall G20 policy responses will have created or saved 21 million jobs in G20 countries by 2010 as a result of both discretionary policy measures and the working of automatic stabilizers.

The latest economic forecasts of the IMF and others now point to a recovery in output in most countries although highly differentiated between regions. However, as the IMF World Economic Outlook estimates there is a risk that the turn round in unemployment could lag six quarters behind that in output, which could mean that, employment would not be back to pre crisis levels until several years after the end of the recession. ILO and its international partners work toward putting in place a strong framework for balanced and stable growth is essential to staving off the risk of a jobless recovery that would not be economically, socially or politically sustainable.

Read the Joint Press Release available at the German Chancellery website.

Read ILO Director General’s statement at the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) and the Development Committee (DC), Washington, D.C., 24-25 April 2010

For more information on the ILO Jobs Pact, please contact