Reposted from the International Transport Workers Federation The global economic crisis could see more than 50 million jobs lost around the world, according to the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) latest report on employment.

The ILO has stated in its 2009 Global Employment Trends report that, depending on the effectiveness of recovery efforts and timeliness, global unemployment could this year increase on 2007 figures by between 18 and 30 million, and by more than 50 million if the situation continues to deteriorate. In this worst case scenario some 200 million workers, mostly in developing economies, could be forced into extreme poverty.

The global recession is also expected to lead to a dramatic increase in the number of people joining the ranks of the ‘working poor’ and those in vulnerable employment.

‘The ILO message is realistic, not alarmist. We are now facing a global jobs crisis. Many governments are aware and acting, but more decisive and coordinated international action is needed to avert a global social recession. Progress in poverty reduction is unravelling and middle classes worldwide are weakening. The political and security implications are daunting,’ said ILO Director-General, Juan Somavia. The crisis was, he said, ‘underscoring the relevance of the ILO Decent Work Agenda.’ He called on the upcoming meeting of the G-20 on 2 April in London, UK, to agree on priority measures to promote productive investments, decent work and social protection objectives, and policy coordination.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) reiterated these concerns in a statement released today to mark this year’s World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil, from 27 January to 1 February. It claims that the financial crisis has ‘aggravated existing economic problems, in both the North and the South’ and that a shortage of decent jobs in developing countries is being compounded by the high cost of living and the world food crisis.

Guy Ryder, ITUC General Secretary, commented: ‘A new model of growth must be developed without further delay; a model based on market regulation and that generates green growth, which will spawn huge opportunities in terms of job creation.’

More information: www.ilo.org/public/english/employment/strat/global.htm

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