Skip to page content
Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
Bookmark and Share

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Opening Session
G20 Labor and Employment Ministers Meeting
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Department of Labor
Washington, D.C.

Good morning, and welcome to the United States Department of Labor.

I am delighted to be able to host you here for this first ever meeting of the Employment and Labor Ministers of the G20.

Last September at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, President Barack Obama proposed to your Leaders that I should host this meeting.

He was pleased by their strong endorsement of the idea.

They agreed that by meeting we would be able to increase the focus on employment in our recovery plans.

They asked us to help them find ways to meet the challenges that the economic crisis is posing for working households in all of our countries.

The Leaders declared, "We cannot rest until the global economy is restored to full health, and hard-working families the world over can find decent jobs."

We have a strong mandate from our Leaders.

Now we have the heavy responsibility to provide them with the best possible advice on how to build a recovery that has robust job growth.

At the same time, we must look to build a foundation for sustainable, balanced economies that create good jobs for all those who want to work.

The Leaders directed us to:

  1. Assess the evolving employment situation;
  2. Ask the International Labor Organization and OECD to prepare an analysis of the impact of policies already adopted;
  3. Report on whether further job creation measures are desirable;
  4. Consider improvements to social protections programs such as unemployment insurance;
  5. Develop a strategy to maximize skill development for our workers for the changing jobs of the future; and
  6. Consider ways to improve the quality as well as the quantity of jobs.

We have a full agenda for the next two days which addresses each of those mandates.

This agenda will allow us to develop an understanding among ourselves of the range of labor market conditions and challenges in the G20 countries.

It will also give us an opportunity to learn from each others' experiences and build a foundation for future cooperation.

But, most of all, it will establish a firm basis for the ambitious recommendations that we will give to our respective Leaders to achieve the balanced global economic growth that all of our countries want, and that will provide the economic security we seek for our workers in the years ahead.

I am happy to share with you that President Obama has invited us to the White House tomorrow to report to him on our achievements and share our recommendations with him.

This is an historic opportunity. Let us get right to work.