On the jobs crisis, people want to see action now | Selim Jahan

23 Sep 2013

woman and child Beneficiaries of Brazil’s Bolsa Familia, the largest cash transfer programme in the world. (Photo: Bruno Spada/Brazil Ministry of Social Development)

Sustainable and inclusive development will not be possible unless economic growth is combined with the creation of decent jobs. The International Labour Organization has warned that 470 million new jobs are needed for new entrants into the labour market between 2016 and 2030, in addition to jobs for 202 million currently unemployed people.

Tackling the global jobs crisis is not an easy task; it will require bold national policies, private-sector dynamism and an enabling global framework. The discussions on the new post-2015 development agenda represent a unique opportunity to put job creation in the center of the new framework.

Growth and employment” was one of 11 themes at the heart of consultations we organized with nearly 1 million people, asking them what should replace the Millennium Development Goals after they reach their 2015 deadline. This global outreach helped us to better understand the concerns people have regarding employment; it also helped us combine and present their main recommendations to UN Member States and to the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, which are taking the lead in the post-2015 planning processes.

And what are these recommendations from people all over the globe? Six key messages from the new report on growth and employment launched today in the Jobs Challenge side event for the 68th Session of the General Assembly include:
•    Adopting a stand-alone goal on employment generation in the post-2015 agenda, with clear and measurable indicators.
•    Shifting policy attention and public discourse from quantity to quality of growth, focusing on inclusiveness, generating decent jobs and reducing inequalities.
•    Promoting productive sectors through coherent economic and industrial policies.
•    Expanding social protection to reduce poverty and inequality and enable sustained and inclusive growth.
•    Strengthening the voice of workers so as to improve working conditions and ensure a fairer distribution of benefits.
•    Reforming global economic governance with a focus on supporting the weakest members of the international community and enhancing the development gains from international trade.

We all already feel the consequences of the global jobs crisis. Widespread unemployment diminishes trust in political leadership and government institutions, weakens social cohesion, widens inequality and fosters economic and social instability. As 75 million young people are currently unemployed, long-lasting negative impacts to the future of human development will be felt if the post-2015 agenda fails to tackle such a serious emerging crisis.

Talk to us: What are your expectations and concerns regarding jobs over the next five years?

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