Equal Opportunities, Common Development

Chart 1-1:Global economy: Growth rate disparities between high-income countries and developing countries, 2011 to 2015(%)

Source: World Bank, Global Economic Prospects, June 2013(e= evaluation, f = forecast).

Within developed economies there are also disparities in recovery. Countries like the US and Sweden have seen obvious signs of recovery, with growth rates much higher than in other developed countries. However, countries in the Eurozone and Japan are still struggling in recession (see chart 1-2). About the imbalances in the world economic recovery, the IMF pointed out in the April 2013 issue of World Economic Outlook:“What was until now a two-speed recovery, strong in emerging market and developing economies but weaker in advanced economies, is becoming a three-speed recovery. Emerging market and developing economies are still going strong, but in advanced economies, there appears to be a growing bifurcation between the United States on one hand and the euro area on the other.”

 

Chart 1-2: Growth disparities within high-income countries, 2011 to 2015 (%)

Source: World Bank, Global Economic Prospects, June 2013(e= evaluation, f = forecast).

1.2 Economic recovery has not brought employment recovery

Today, jobs are a critical concern across the globe.

——World Bank, World Development Report 2013

High and increasing unemployment rates coupled with longer periods of job search have resulted in many young people giving up the search altogether and becoming discouraged.

——ILO, Global Employment Trends for Youth 2013

Demographic shifts, technological progress, and the lasting effects of the international financial crisis are reshaping the employment landscape in countries around the world. Countries that successfully adapt to these changes and meet their jobs challenges can achieve dramatic gains in living standards, productivity growth, and more cohesive societies. Those that do not will miss out on the transformational effects of economic and social development.

——Jim Yong Kim, President, The World Bank Group (Foreword to World Development Report 2013)

Uncertainties in the global economy, the unsuitable policies of some countries in dealing with the economic crisis, the reduction of public spending and decreases in family income have all sapped investor and consumer confidence. As a result, the employment crisis has not been lessened as the economy recovers. The unemployed population continues to increase, with the unemployment rate increasing once again and the unemployment situation for youth and women particularly severe. Nearly 400 million workers live in abject poverty.

1.2.1 Employment recovery lags behind economic recovery

Empirical studies based on long-term historical data show that economic growth can always bring an increase in employment. However, the economic and employment situation since the international financial crisis has not demonstrated this – economic recovery has not brought about job recovery. According to reports of the IMF, the global economy grew by 3.5% in 2012.Although there was still a big gap compared with the pre-crisis period, the global economy has already come out of its low ebb of –0.6% in 2009. The growth rate in 2012 was also 0.7 percentage points higher than in 2008. However, the employment situation has not improved considerably. In 2012, the global unemployment rate remained as high as 5.9%, 0.3 percentage points higher than in 2008. It will have increased to a historical high of 6% in 2013, only 0.2 percentage points lower than in 2009(see chart 1-3). This mismatch between employment and the economic situation is seen both in developed and European Union(EU) economies and in non-EU central and southeast European (CSEE) and Commonwealth of Independent States(CIS) countries, as well as in the Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia-Pacific regions, where emerging economies are concentrated.

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  Source: ACFTU  2013-05-23

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