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G20 Labor and Employment Ministers' Meeting Fact Sheet

  • Historic first meeting of the G20 labor and employment ministers
  • G20: group of the world’s 20 largest economies, which account for 85 percent of the world’s global economy and more than two-thirds of the world’s population
  • Government leaders at 2009 G20 Pittsburgh Summit pledged to implement recovery plans that support decent work, help preserve employment and prioritize job growth. Leaders agreed that a jobless recovery is unacceptable.
  • Global unemployment has surged by 34 million people, reaching a record 212 million unemployed in 2009. This recession has wreaked more havoc since any since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
  • Despite recent revival of national economies, unemployment rates remain high
  • International Labor Organization estimates that this year and last year alone, economic stimulus packages and automatic stabilizers in place in G20 countries saved 21 million jobs, cutting job losses by 40 percent
  • Countries have responded differently to this recession compared to previous downturns by spending more to build a basic social protection floor for vulnerable people (social safety net) rather than slashing spending to balance budgets
  • Nations are working to strengthen social safety nets by expanding unemployment benefits, cash transfer programs and access to health care and pensions
  • Countries are taking forceful and innovative steps to create and protect jobs, such as spurring job creation through building infrastructure, encouraging “green” energy industries, supporting small enterprises and focusing on at-risk workers
  • Meeting will enable ministers to showcase what has been accomplished so far and be able to share what has worked, what has not and why
  • Goal: determine what additional steps might be needed to create more and better jobs, prepare the workforce for the jobs of the future, and produce a series of recommendations to be considered by G20 government leaders.
  • Additional information available at ILO Web site: http://www.ilo.org/jobcrisis
  • Information on the G20 Labor and Employment Ministers’ meeting is available at http://www.dol.gov/ILAB/media/events/G20_ministersmeeting/.