The economic outlook has weakened significantly over the past six months, which is not good news for employment or the prospects of those looking for work. Policy action targeted on youth and the long-term unemployed can, and must, be taken.
The jobs crisis has three particularly worrying aspects. First, the risk of unemployment becoming entrenched is more and more real in a number of G20 countries. Second, the crisis impacts disproportionately on youth. Finally, growing inequality threatens to affect social cohesion and the living standards of vulnerable families and individuals. To deal with these threats, job creation must be restarted quickly, accompanied by stronger
Urgent action must be taken by the governments to tackle high unemployment and growing inequality. Good-quality social policies, particularly those addressed to the most vulnerable, should be seen as sound investments to promote economic growth and well-being, according to Angel Gurría.
Tackling the employment challenge and the rise in inequality, the most urgent issues for policy-makers, could be achieved within the current public budgets by using more in-work benefits, or improving equal access and quality of education and training said Angel Gurría.
Policies that promote job creation, better job opportunities and well-functioning social safety nets are crucial for helping the many who are still struggling to find jobs. These policies are not just spending items in a strained public budget. They are a vital social investment for the future, to help move our economies onto a path of sustainable economic growth and well-being.
The challenges of tackling high and persistent unemployment, especially for the young people, improving job opportunities and ensuring adequate social safety nets should be at the top of the political agenda, said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
What individuals know and can do has a profound impact on the competitiveness, productivity and social cohesion of their countries. But most importantly it has an impact on the quality of their lives; on their achievements and self-fulfilment, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
Sustaining economic growth is certainly important to promote social cohesion but growth alone cannot solve all problems. Instead, well-targeted social policies are essential to promote social cohesion and reverse the upward trend in income inequality. This is the “go social” challenge facing Korea, said OECD Secretary-General in Seoul.
Mr. Gurría underlined the importance of tackling the challenges of unemployment and inequality. He said: “we need a more inclusive and greener model of growth based on sound institutions… And we must focus even more in our relations with social partners to reach such joint goals”.
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Read the speech by OECD Deputy Secretary General, Aart de Geus, during the opening session of the 10th International Entrepreneurship Forum, held in Bahrain on 9-11 January 2011.