Lead agencies: ILO
Cooperating agencies: FAO, IMF, IMO, ITU, UN Regional Commissions, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNEP, UNFPA, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WIPO and World Bank


The global financial crisis has caused the loss of millions of jobs worldwide. Declining aggregate demand has triggered factory closures, especially in the export-oriented manufacturing sector.

With approximately 45 million new job seekers, mostly young women and men, entering the global labour market every year, this jobs crisis is set to worsen sharply as the recession drags on. With about 80% of the world population not covered by social protection, poverty and informal employment are expected to continue to rise, reversing recent gains, while middle classes are weakened. Prolonged employment crises carry major risks for social and political stability. Placing jobs at the centre of economic policy making is thus vital to assuage unrest and avert a social crisis.

The “Global Jobs Pact” initiative aims at focusing the attention of decision-makers on employment measures and decent work as the foundation for long-term recovery. The Initiative highlights that the multiplier effects of investments in employment-intensive areas are higher than those of alternate measures such as tax cuts. The key component of a Global Jobs Pact, namely employment promotion and social protection, would also help to reinforce global demand.

The Global Jobs Pact includes a range of crisis-response measures that countries can adapt to their specific needs and situation. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but a portfolio of options based on successful examples, also designed to inform and support action at the multilateral level. It calls on governments and organizations representing workers and employers to work together to collectively tackle the global jobs crisis through policies in line with the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda.

The Pact urges governments to consider options such as public infrastructure investment, special employment programmes, broadening of social protection and minimum wages. Particularly in developing countries, such measures can reduce poverty, increase demand and contribute to economic stability. Donor countries and multilateral agencies are called on to consider providing funding, including existing crisis resources for the implementation of the Pact’s recommendations and policy options.

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