ILO welcomes G-20 Labour and Employment Ministers' recommendations on job-Rich recovery

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has welcomed the recommendations by
the G-20 Labour and Employment Ministers' meeting aimed at accelerating a
job-rich recovery through policies included in the ILO's Global Jobs Pact and
Decent Work Agenda.

Emphasizing the Ministers' focus on growth in jobs and incomes, ILO Director
General Juan Somavia said "There cannot be a sustainable recovery without a
strong jobs recovery. This requires a greater convergence and coordination
between macroeconomic policies and policies dealing with employment, labour
markets, skills and social protection."

In a statement issued at the close of their two-day meeting in Washington, G-20
Labour and Employment Ministers highlighted the ILO Jobs Pact and Decent Work
Agenda as "valuable resources for our governments as we design further measures
to address employment and social protection systems."

The Ministers consider that their recommendations "provide ample room for
adaptation to the particular needs of our countries while keeping in
perspective that we can reach a higher equilibrium of progress and well being
for our citizens by acting together than any of us can achieve alone. We
believe they will make a strong contribution to the G-20 Framework for Strong,
Sustainable and Balanced Growth and will enhance policy coherence."

Mr. Somavia recalled that "the framework for the Ministers' meeting was set by
G-20 Leaders' policy decisiveness in Pittsburgh, where they said 'We cannot
rest until the global economy is restored to full health and hard-working
families the world over can find decent jobs.' 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 a key political challenge
ahead. This is what the ILO Global Jobs Pact is about."

The G-20 Ministers' final statement says: "We want to ensure that productivity
gains are shared with workers as rising living standards; that work is a
reliable path out of poverty for all of our people; that the fundamental rights
of workers are respected; and that social dialogue is fostered." The ministers
offered five sets of policy recommendations to be considered by G-20 Leaders:

  • accelerate job creation to ensure a sustained recovery and future growth

  • strengthen social protection systems and promote inclusive active labour market policies

  • place employment and poverty alleviation at the centre of national and global economic strategies

  • improve the quality of jobs for our people

  • prepare our workforces for future challenges and opportunities

The recommendations aim to "support the coordination of efforts to prioritize
employment growth because strong growth of jobs and incomes in many countries
at the same time will buttress global demand, creating still more jobs. Growth
in employment and incomes in all regions, and particularly in countries with
large shares of low-income households, also represents an indispensable
contribution to strong, sustained and balanced global growth, a key goal of our
countries' overall economic policy coordination."

Stressing the importance of improved labour market conditions to sustained and
balanced growth, Mr. Somavia said: "As countries gradually rein in
discretionary fiscal spending, they should at the same time continue to target
employment and income support on workers having difficulty in finding decent
work. It is vital that household consumption and investment in sustainable
enterprises start pushing employment and the economy up. The faster the pick-up
in employment the more buoyancy will there be in tax revenues and
unemployment-related expenditure will fall."

In their recommendations to the G-20 leaders, Labour and Employment Ministers
declared: "We can learn from each other's experience with policy interventions
to improve the quality as well as quantity of jobs."

The G-20 employment and labour ministers also attached to their recommendations
the ILO report analyzing the impact of the policy measures taken by G-20
countries. The report estimates that economic crisis policies adopted by G-20
governments saved or created an estimated 21 million jobs in 2009 and 2010.

Prior to their meeting, the G-20 Ministers met leaders of the global networks
of trade unions and employers organizations, an initiative warmly welcomed by
Mr. Somavia.

G-20 Labour and Employment Ministers' recommendations respond to a request by
G-20 Leaders in Pittsburgh in September last year to "assess the evolving
employment situation, review reports from the ILO and other organizations on
the impact of policies we have adopted, report on whether further measures are
desirable, and consider medium-term employment and skills development policies,
social protection programs, and best practices to ensure workers are prepared
to take advantage of advances in science and technology."

More info - Source: International Labour Organization