Launch of ILO’s Global Employment Trends, 2013

The ILO's flagship report "Global Employment Trends 2013" was launched in India on 15 February 2013 during the visit of Mr. Yoshiteru Uramoto, ILO Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific. Dr. Abhijit Sen, Member, Planning Commission, Government of India, and Ms. Lise Grande, United Nations Resent Coordinator, graced the event.

The India launch of the ILO’s flagship report “Global Employment Trends 2013” took place in New Delhi on 13 February 2013 to an audience of almost 160 people from ILO’s tripartite partners, academic community, UN family, international organizations, media and others in the presence of Dr. Abhjit Sen, Member, Planning Commission; Mr. Yoshiteru Uramoto, ILO Regional Director for Asia & the Pacific and Ms. Lise Grande, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for India. The highlights of the report were presented by Mr. Steven Kapsos, Senior Economist and Dr. Sher Verick, Senior Employment Specialist from the ILO, with Dr. S.K. Sasikumar from the V.V. Giri National Labour Institute and Dr. Rana Hasan, Principal Economist from the Asian Development Bank as discussants.

The central theme of Dr. Abhijit Sen’s remarks was the need for globally coordinated approaches to overcome the effects of the ongoing economic crisis. He lamented that this approach, initiated by G20 at the beginning of the crisis, has not continued. With reference to India, he mentioned that structural adjustments needed for shift of employment from agriculture to other sectors should be closely analysed, and noted the importance of providing appropriate skills development support to women workers. Dr. Sen also spoke about the 12th Plan focus to restore the spirit of investors as a major driver for increased growth.

Ms. Lise Grande stated that growth, employment and Decent Work should be at the centre of the global development agenda and the situation in India demands that Decent Work has to be at the centre of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. She complimented the ILO for bringing the focus on the need for a National Social Protection Floor.

Mr. Uramoto emphasized the importance of decent work for all, and the need to ensure the quality of employment in the context of recent trends of the contractualization of workforce in India. He indicated that skills development and social protection are important for increased productivity and long-term sustainable development.

Dr. Sasikumar said that, in the beginning of the decade, around 33% of workers were casual workers in the organized sector and now the figure has increased to more than 50%. Another interesting fact, according to him, is that 21% of youth are not employed, but are neither in school nor looking for employment, and it is important to target them for facilitating smooth transition to work to take advantage of the demographic dividend to contribute to economic growth.

Dr. Rana Hasan spoke about the National Manufacturing Policy and the proposed National Manufacturing Zones which have potential for introduction of flexicurity approaches. He further mentioned about the need to explore ways to support manufacturing firms and industry in India so that they can grow to be more productive and then to pay higher wages to workers.

Dr. Ashok Sahu, Secretary-General of the National Human Rights Commission, queried about the impact of the Global Jobs Pact on the current employment trends.

A workers representative mentioned about Decent Work for workers while an employers representative spoke about the reasons for growth of the informal economy.