G20 Labor and Employment Ministers' Meeting
Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez at the G20 Labor and Employment Ministers’ Meeting in Ankara, Turkey on September 4, 2015. © Turkish G20 Presidency
The G20 Labor and Employment Ministers' process brings together Labor and Employment Ministers from countries representing approximately 85 percent of the world's global economy to advise G20 Leaders on the most pressing labor challenges facing workers. Former Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis hosted the first G20 Labor and Employment Ministerial in April 2010.
China currently holds the G20 Presidency and will host the next G20 Labor and Employment Ministerial on July 12-13, 2016 in Beijing.
- February 2-4, 2016: G20 Employment Working Group Meeting — Guangzhou, China
- November 4, 2015: G20 Employment Working Group Meeting — Geneva, Switzerland
- October 7-8, 2015: G20 Workshop on Human Resources Development, Skills and Labor Mobility for Inclusive Labor Markets and Growth — Paris, France
- September 3-4, 2015: G20 Labor and Employment Ministers’ Meeting — Ankara, Turkey
- July 22-25, 2015: G20 Employment Working Group Meeting — Cappadocia, Turkey
- June 24, 2015: G20 Workshop on the Silver Economy and Active Aging — Rome, Italy
- May 6-9, 2015: G20 Employment Working Group Meeting — Istanbul, Turkey
- February 26-28, 2015: G20 Employment Working Group Meeting — Antalya, Turkey
- November 4, 2014: G20 Employment Task Force Meeting — Geneva, Switzerland
- September 10-11, 2014: G20 Labor and Employment Ministers’ Meeting — Melbourne, Australia
- July 22-24, 2014: G20 Employment Task Force Meeting — Brisbane, Australia
- June 5, 2014: Joint G20 Employment Task Force and Framework Working Group Meeting — Goa, India and Geneva, Switzerland
- May 6, 2014: G20 Employment Task Force Sub-Group Meeting on Safer Workplaces Istanbul, Turkey
- April 10-11, 2014: G20 Employment Task Force Meeting Paris, France
- February 5-7, 2014: G20 Employment Task Force Meeting Sydney, Australia
- November 18-19, 2013: G20 Seminar Buenos Aires, Argentina
- October 18, 2013: G20 Employment Task Force Meeting Geneva, Switzerland
- July 18-19, 2013: G20 Labor and Employment and Joint Labor and Finance Ministers' Meetings Moscow, Russia
- June 3-4, 2013: G20 Employment Task Force Meeting St. Petersburg, Russia
- February 21-22, 2013: G20 Employment Task Force Meeting Moscow, Russia
- October 1 - 2, 2012: G20 Employment Task Force Meeting Geneva, Switzerland
- May 17 - 18, 2012: G20 Labor and Employment Ministers' Meeting Guadalajara, Mexico
- December 15, 2011: G20 Employment Task Force Meeting Mexico City, Mexico
- September 26-27, 2011: G20 Labor and Employment Ministers' Meeting Paris, France
- April 20-21, 2010: G20 Labor and Employment Ministers' Meeting Washington, DC
Labor and employment experts discussed implementing pro-employment macroeconomic policies, addressing unemployment, in particular youth unemployment, boosting entrepreneurship, forecasting skill needs, enhancing the adaptability of workplaces, strengthening the effectiveness of vocational training, and updating the G20 Employment Plans and Self-Reporting Templates.
The Chinese Presidency provided a preliminary overview on its priorities for the G20 Employment Working Group in 2016. These included promoting decent work, fostering an energetic labor market, and strengthening the adaptability of the workforce. The theme for China’s Presidency will be a global economy based on the “4 I’s”: innovation, invigorated, interconnectivity, and inclusiveness.
The Employment Working Group and Development Working Group explored cross-collaboration on issues such as human resources development, skills training, and labor mobility.
Secretary Thomas E. Perez, leading the U.S. delegation to the annual G20 Labor and Employment Ministers’ Meeting, spoke about the importance of expanding opportunities and access to quality skills training so that we “take advantage of the gifts and talents of every single one of our people.” He and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew also attended a Joint Ministerial Session of Labor and Finance Ministers and spoke about the need to address growing income inequality throughout the world. Secretary Perez held bilateral discussions with his counterparts from the United Kingdom, Germany, the European Union and Spain. He and Spain’s Minister of Employment and Social Security Fátima Báñez García signed a Joint Declaration of Intent to strengthen cooperation on skills training and other employment policies.
Topics discussed included setting a new target to address youth unemployment; apprenticeships; the contribution of labor mobility on growth; establishing a permanent G20 Employment Working Group website; and finalizing a template for self-reporting of the employment plans. A half-day meeting of the Subgroup on Labor Income Share and Inequalities reviewed G20 country responses to a questionnaire and possible policy recommendations to appear in the G20 Labor and Employment Declaration.
The Turkish G20 Presidency and the Italian Government co-hosted this workshop on the opportunities and challenges of an aging workforce. Participants of the workshop, which included G20 government representatives, social partners, and civil society and academic experts, exchanged views and developed policy recommendations. The recommendations dealt with equal access to healthy and active living; adjusting workplaces to meet the needs of senior workers; combatting age discrimination; ensuring the sustainability of pension systems; and taking actions against the digital divide.
Labor and employment experts met to discuss progress on the 2014 gender gap commitment, strengthening employment services, linking employment and education, and working with other G20 working groups and social partners. On May 6th, the Subgroup on Labor Income Share and Inequalities met to adopt its Terms of Reference and to discuss policies to address the declining labor share and rising inequality. There was also an informal meeting on safer workplaces, which focused on following-up on the 2014 subgroup recommendations and a discussion on how best to monitor progress and whether to adopt a target.
The G20 members adopted a Terms of Reference for the newly created Employment Working Group and discussed strengthening the link between employment and growth, trends regarding youth employment, and the impact of labor income share on employment. Associate Deputy Undersecretary Mark Mittelhauser presented on the latter topic. The meeting was preceded by a full day meeting focused on apprenticeships.
On the margins of the ILO’s Governing Body, the Employment Task Force discussed the thematic areas to be undertaken by the Turkish Presidency, including the conversion of the ad hoc “G20 Employment Task Force” to the permanent “G20 Employment Working Group”.
Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez led the U.S. delegation to the G20 Labor and Employment Ministers’ Meeting, the theme of which was accelarating the pace of economic growth and creating jobs in the global economy. Secretary Perez held a news conference with his counterparts from the United Kingdom and Australia. In bilateral meetings he discussed youth unemployment, expanding opportunities for women, and ensuring people with disabilities have the opportunity to realize their full potential, and paid parental leave policies. He and China’s Minister of Human Resources and Social Security Minister of Human Resources and Social Security Yin Weimen signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will offer opportunities to collaborate on worker rights and employment issues. Perez addressed the full body on the last day on the topic of boosting participation in the workforce. The ministerial precedes the annual G20 Leaders Summit, which President Obama attended in Brisbane in November.
G20 countries discussed how to align the employment plans with the growth strategies being undertaken in the Framework Working Group. They also discussed the need for a collective commitment on reducing the gender gap in labor force participation. Other topics included safer workplaces and underemployment and informality.
The G20 Employment Task Force and Framework Working Group (FWG) met jointly to discuss how to incorporate employment and participation into the growth strategies, being developed by the FWG.
Associate Deputy Undersecretary Mark Mittelhauser visited Istanbul on May 6 and co-chaired a G20 Task Force on Employment subgroup meeting on safer workplaces with Turkey's Deputy Undersecretary of Labor and Employment Erhan Batur. G20 Leaders directed the Task Force on Employment to create a subgroup to lead inter-sessional work on occupational safety and health. The United States and Turkey are leading the subgroup in developing initiatives and a work plan to implement this mandate.
At the Task Force meeting, each country reported its progress on its employment plan. Associate Deputy Undersecretary Mark Mittelhauser provided an update on the U.S. plan, including the challenges of reducing long-term unemployment, increasing youth employment opportunities, and closing the gender gap. Mittelhauser also updated the Task Force on the progress and proposed work plan of the sub-group on workplace safety and health. Additionally, the Task Force discussed the initial Labor Ministers' draft conclusions and exchanged best practices in the areas of structural adjustment and skills mismatches. This Task Force meeting was preceded by two days of G20 co-sponsored events on the EC's Youth Guarantees initiative and the OECD's conference on apprenticeships.
The G20 Employment Task Force discussed the work plan for this year, including the development of employment plans. Employment plans will outline a country's labor market challenges, current policies and programs in place as well as new commitments to address those challenges, and monitor past commitments. The Task Force also exchanged best practices in the areas of boosting female labor force participation and effective local job creation. In line with the guidance of G20 Leaders to contribute to safer workplaces, the Task Force created a sub-group on workplace safety and health. The U.S. and Turkey co-chair this sub-group.
This seminar focused on how to improve the integration of labor and macroeconomic policies. Associate Deputy Undersecretary Mark Mittelhauser spoke of the need to effectively implement the G20 Leaders' mandate through increased interaction between the labor and finance tracks and the effective integration of the monitoring and accountability frameworks on labor and broader macroeconomic policies. Other areas of discussion in the seminar included employment policies and financial instruments for improving growth and employment.
The Australian Presidency gave a preliminary discussion on priority areas for the G20 Employment Task Force's work plan in 2014. The priority areas include local job creation, social protection, and structural unemployment and underemployment.
Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth Harris led the DOL delegation to the G20 Labor and Employment and Joint Labor and Finance Ministers’ Meetings that took place July 18th and 19th in Moscow. The ministers discussed job creation, policies and programs that enable vulnerable populations to enter the workforce, and how to effectively implement past commitments. In his speech at the joint meeting, Harris emphasized that “the goals of labor and finance ministries are and should be the same: to foster sustainable economic growth, to expand and strengthen the middle class in each of our countries and across the world, and to reduce unemployment and other economic disadvantages that threaten workers and their families.”
The ministers also held consultations with leaders of the international labor and business communities (the L20 and B20). The ILO Director General Guy Ryder and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria presented two joint reports that evaluated the G20 countries labor and employment initiatives and presented a short-term labor market assessment of G20 countries' progress.
The G20 Employment Task Force focused on preparations for the G20 Labor and Employment and Joint Labor and Finance Ministers' Meetings occurring in July in Moscow and discussed the future of the Employment Task Force.
The G20 Employment Task Force (ETF) held its first meeting under the Russian G20 Presidency on February 21-22 in Moscow to discuss preparations for the G20 Labor and Employment Ministerial, scheduled to take place on July 18, and a joint Labor-Finance Ministerial meeting, scheduled for July 19. Russia has stated that its principal objective for the G20 in 2013 is “developing a set of measures aimed at boosting sustainable, inclusive and balanced growth and jobs creation around the world.”
Two issues in particular were discussed: cyclical employment and job creation-related issues, and labor activation measures such as training, skills enhancement, and programs designed to help vulnerable populations enter the workforce.
Employment experts from G20 countries convened on October 1st and 2nd to discuss key elements that make quality apprenticeships successful. In addition, they produced "G20 Strategies on Youth Employment," which describes the current and long-term employment challenges of youth in G20 countries and the necessary strategies to address these challenges. The International Labor Organization, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and labor and employment leaders were also in attendance.
The G20 Labor and Employment Ministers discussed how to achieve quality employment for more of the world's population, create employment opportunities for young people and examine the prospects for employment in the emerging high growth sectors. Mexican President Felipe Calderon joined the meeting for the concluding session at which Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, speaking on behalf of all the G20 ministers, said that, "The crisis our young people face also threatens our national social protection floors and thus has a damaging effect on all workers." The Ministers' conclusions noted that employment rates have not yet returned to pre-crisis levels and that in some countries unemployment and the number of people in informal and precarious jobs continues to require ongoing attention. They noted the need to promote employment policies for youth and other vulnerable groups, agreed that green growth may be a source of job creation, and that the creation of quality jobs would contribute to poverty reduction and social inclusion. They also called upon the G20 Leaders to strengthen the relationship between labor and finance ministers to address links between growth and employment.
Employment experts from G20 countries, the International Labor Organization, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, met in Mexico City on December 15 for the first meeting of the G20 Task Force on Employment. The meeting was chaired by the Secretary of Labor of Mexico and the Minister of Labor of France. At the September 2011 G20 Labor and Employment Ministers meeting in Paris the ministers agreed to create an intergovernmental task force that would provide practical input for April 2012 G20 Labor and Employment Ministerial Meeting in Mexico. It was agreed that the first topic to be addressed will be youth employment. Participants discussed effective programs and strategies for preparing young workers to enter the workforce, and the significant present and future implications of youth unemployment for the labor market.
The United States, as well as several other countries, emphasized that youth employment not only scarred those who faced long term exclusion from the labor market, but also had significant consequences for the labor market in the future. The United States also noted that we do not face a single youth employment problem, but multiple youth employment issues that have differing effects on populations of different education levels, different regions, and different races and ethnicities.
France hosted the G20 Labor and Employment Ministers in Paris. Ministers agreed upon a set of recommendations to Leaders on ways to boost employment, enhance social protection, better implement worker rights and develop improved policy coherence between national and international institutions. They also established a task force on employment.
Secretary Solis hosted the first meeting of the G20 Labor and Employment Ministers. The ministers discussed the impact of the recent economic crisis on employment in their countries and shared results and insights from the wide variety of policies the countries have undertaken to preserve and create jobs, protect and assist the unemployed, and adapt to changes in labor markets.