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World Heading for Jobs Recession, Unrest: ILO

Monday, 31 Oct 2011 | 7:30 AM ET

The world economy is on the verge of a new and deeper jobs recession that will delay the global recovery further and may spark social unrest in "scores of countries," the International Labor Organization said on Monday.

Job Losses
Job Losses

A stalled global economic recovery has begun to affect labor markets dramatically and, on current trends, it will take at least five years for employment in developed countries to return to the levels before the crisis, one year later than projected last year, according to the new "World of Work Report 2011: Making Markets Work for Jobs."

"We have reached the moment of truth. We have a brief window of opportunity to avoid a major double-dip in employment,” Raymond Torres, director of the ILO International Institute for Labor Studies, said in the statement.

Around 80 million jobs will need to be created over the next two years to return employment to the rates from before the crisis, according to the ILO report.

"However, the recent slowdown in growth suggests that the world economy is likely to create only half of the jobs needed," the ILO statement said.

This year, the report has a new "social unrest" index showing levels of discontent over a lack of employment, and anger because the burden of the crisis is not being shared fairly. According to the index, in over 45 of the 118 countries examined, the risk of social unrest is rising.

This is the case in the European Union and the Arab region, and to a lesser extent in Asia. The risk of unrest in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America is stagnant or lower, the report showed.

The report calls for maintaining and in some cases strengthening pro-employment programs, warning that efforts to reduce public debt and deficits "have often disproportionately focused on labor market and social measures."

Also on Monday, another report on the labor market, this one released by the Confederation of British Industries, called on the government to introduce a tax incentive in order to encourage companies to hire unemployed youth.

Contact Europe: Economy

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