GENEVA (ILO News) ─The global financial crisis could increase world unemployment by an estimated 20 million women and men, the Director-General of the International Labour Office (ILO) said today. “We need prompt and coordinated government actions to avert a social crisis that could be severe, long-lasting and global”, he added.
Based on revised global growth estimates by the International Monetary Fund (Note 1) (IMF), the UN and early reports suggesting rising job losses for most countries where data was available, ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said the ILO’s preliminary estimates indicated that the “number of unemployed could rise from 190 million in 2007 to 210 million in late 2009.”
Mr. Somavia added that “the number of working poor living on less than a dollar a day could rise by some 40 million – and those at 2 dollars a day by more than 100 million”.
Mr. Somavia also said that the current crisis would hit hardest such sectors as construction, automotive, tourism, finance, services and real estate. He also noted that the new projections “could prove to be underestimates if the effects of the current economic contraction and looming recession are not quickly confronted”.
“Protecting and promoting sustainable enterprises and decent work opportunities must be at the heart of the Summit on the Financial Crisis recently announced by Presidents Bush and Sarkozy”, he added. “We must return to the basic function of finance, which is to promote the real economy. To lend so that entrepreneurs can invest, innovate, produce jobs and goods and services.”