ILO and the International Monetary Fund


Photographs by the IMF

The IMF and ILO have come together to stimulate discussion on international cooperation and policy innovation that can improve the capacity of economies to generate enough good jobs to strengthen social cohesion. On September 13th, 2010 a joint high-level IMF-ILO conference in Oslo explored new ways of forging a sustainable, job-rich economic recovery. The “Challenges of Growth, Employment and Social Cohesion” conference and accompanying discussion paper called on policymakers to improve the integration of employment and social policies with international and national macroeconomic policy strategies. It also urged leaders to focus thinking and action on how to ensure that policies have the same priorities as people: more and better jobs.

As a result of the Oslo Conference, the ILO and the IMF agreed to work together on three related areas. First, to explore the idea of a minimum social protection floor for the most vulnerable in all countries. Second, to focus on policies to promote employment-creating growth. Thirdly, to promote social dialogue, both as a way of building consensus around difficult issues and of ensuring that the social consequences of the crisis and its aftermath are taken fully into account.

Following the commitments made in Oslo, representatives from the IMF, the ILO, the ITUC, the European Trade Union Confederation and national unions met in Vienna in March 2011 to discuss the international response to the jobs crisis. The ILO and IMF continue to deepen their cooperation in support of the G20 and its Mutual Assessment Process aimed at ensuring strong, sustained and balanced global growth.

During 2011, the ILO and the IMF conducted joint assessments on costing of social protection floors in Mozambique, El Salvador and Vietnam. Under this initiative, the IMF provided analysis of available fiscal space while the ILO and UNICEF offered technical expertise on social protection schemes.

Moreover, in 2011, the IMF renewed attention to the issue of jobs, inequality and growth by creating a “Working Group on Jobs and Inclusive Growth”. The working group has proposed (i) enhanced coverage of labor market issues in IMF work; (ii) a re-assessment of the impact of policies, including labor market policies, on employment and growth; and (iii) a focus on fostering growth.