New York, Oct 27 2011 7:05PM
The international community must urgently consolidate efforts to tackle the
global jobs crisis, a top United Nations official said today, calling for
countries to adopt a more inclusive growth strategy that can enhance
nations’ productivity and capacity to generate income sources.
Lazarous Kapambwe, President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC),
said investing in productive capacities more effectively and efficiently is
an indispensable response, not just to the current job crises, but also to
enable long-term sustainable development.
“The global financial and economic crisis has now turned into a global jobs
crisis, affecting the daily lives of millions of people worldwide,” said Mr.
Kapambwe in his remarks to a UN panel discussion in New York.
“The most vulnerable and marginalized populations are the hardest hit.
Without sufficient assets and access to broad social safety nets, they are
falling deeper into poverty or, struggling to sustain their livelihoods,”
Mr. Kapambwe stressed that the combination of economic uncertainty, high
food prices and unemployment, which have triggered widespread expressions of
social discontent in many cities, need to be addressed through a “more
inclusive and balanced growth strategy to boost productive capacities to
promote job-rich growth.”
The panel sought to find ways to address key issues surrounding job creation
and productive capacities to provide policy recommendations to countries
based on successful economic growth and reduction poverty strategies.
The panel comes at a time when unemployment remains at an all-time high,
with the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimating that 27 million
jobs were lost between 2007 and 2009. In particular, young people have been
hit particularly hard with a current youth joblessness rate of 12.6 per
“Some 5.2 million young people lost their jobs with the crisis, while
millions more dropped out of the labour market through discouragement. A
generation of young people risks being scarred by de-skilling and lack of
hope of a job,” said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia, who also attended
the panel discussion.
Mr. Somavia also pointed to the increasing amount of people who work under
vulnerable job conditions – referring to lack of adequate social security,
inadequate earnings and precarious working conditions – as an issue of
concern, and said women have a disproportionately higher share of this type
In addition, Mr. Somavia addressed the difference in policies needed for
developed and developing countries. He said a policy of structural
transformation is needed in advanced economies so that individuals can
transition from industries and occupations where jobs are scarce to
industries with high job potential.
For this, he said governments would need to facilitate social protection
that allows job mobility. As for developing countries, Mr. Somavia suggested
an increase in the investment on productive capacities so they can expand
their productivity to generate higher incomes.
During the event, a report calling for measures to guarantee basic income
and services for all to increase economic growth was also presented by UN
Women’s Executive Director Michelle Bachelet. The report, <i>Social
Protection Floor for a Fair and Inclusive Globalization</i>, focuses on
providing income security and scaling up essential health services even in
the poorest countries.
The panel discussed further recommendations on government policies, noting
an inclusive strategy would need to incorporate a gender, age and
geographical perspectives to be successful.
For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news