The heads of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Labour Organization want the world to know that there is a global unemployment problem, particularly among developed countries, and that the trouble could have long-term effects on worldwide GDP. That is obvious, but it seems that it bares repeating, even if the repetition is useless.
An announcement from the two organizations said, “we wish to express our concern over the seriousness of the jobs crisis. 200 million people are out of work worldwide, close to the peak recorded at the depth of the Great Recession. Today, the jobs crisis is affecting the most vulnerable groups particularly hard, amid growing long term unemployment, mounting youth unemployment and high and rising informality. This is the human face of the crisis. Governments cannot ignore it.”
Their solutions? The two organizations, working in concert, had none. They closed their report with this: “Working together, and bringing the perspectives of our respective constituencies, will make our Organisations even stronger allies of all stakeholders interested in job creation, equal opportunities and inclusive participation.” The millions and millions of people without jobs can be grateful for that.
It is already a widely held criticism that the conversations among governments and policy makers about unemployment, austerity, sovereign debt problems and GDP contraction are no more than that — only conversations. One of the reasons that these conversations are taken less and less seriously is that they are both endless and without conclusions — at least not any that lead to effective policy.
The OECD has 34 member nations and an annual budget of 342 million euros. Based on its new recommendations about global unemployment, who can argue that all of that money is well spent?
Douglas A. McIntyre