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G20 faces shortfall in number and quality of jobs: Report
Sep '14
G20 countries are facing large and persistent gaps in employment and job quality, which is affecting prospects for re-igniting economic growth in these countries, according to a new report.
The report titled “G20 labour markets: outlook, key challenges and policy responses”, has been jointly prepared by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the World Bank Group, for the G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting (LEEM) taking place from September 9-11, 2014, in Melbourne.
Despite some recent improvement, G20 economies are still facing a substantial jobs gap. This shortfall of employment will persist until at least 2018, unless grown gains momentum, says the report.
There are more than 100 million unemployed people in the G20 countries, and about 447 million ‘working poor’ who live on less than US$ 2 a day in emerging G20 economies.
The report says wage growth has significantly lagged behind productivity growth in most G20 countries, while wage and income inequality either remains high or has widened. 
In many advanced G20 economies, real wages have stagnated or even fallen, whereas in emerging G20 economies, high levels of under-employment and informality are constraining both current output and future productivity, the report adds.
The weak labour market performance is also threatening economic recovery because it is constraining both consumption and investment. “Jobs are a foundation for economic recovery,” the report says. “G20 countries need more and better jobs as a foundation for sustained growth and well-being of their societies”.
However, a number of emerging economies have made major progress in reducing absolute poverty, and some have also reduced income inequality. But, informal employment remains a major obstacle to improving job quality, particularly in emerging and developing countries.
Looking ahead, the report says that achieving sustainable, equitable and inclusive growth requires policies across all relevant sectors that improve productivity and wages, employment opportunities and outcomes, particularly for those groups most affected by the crisis or who are vulnerable. Demographic changes, such as rapid population ageing in some countries and rising youth populations in others, also mean that governments need to promote the labour market participation of women, youth and other under-represented and vulnerable groups, enhance their skills and provide job-search support.
The report also highlights social protection, social dialogue, rights at work, and workplace safety as areas in need of further action.

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