On 24 June 2013, Martin Khor Kok Peng wrote an article entitled “Tackling the global jobs crisis” on The Star Online. Martin Khor is currently the Executive Director of the South Centre (an intergovernmental organisation of developing countries based in Geneva, Switzerland. In this article, he discussed on the unrested global unemployment trend from early 1940’s until 2013 and he urged the need to restore full employment as a global and national priority goal. Summary
Unemployment has become the world’s biggest economic and social problem once again. According to the International Labour Organisation, the global unemployment grew by 4.2 million last year and summed up to an estimated 200 million today. Recently, employment issue has been one of the issues discussed in the United Nations for it is the most important indicator of economy’s health as well as the gateway to social development. Before the World War II, full employment was recognised as the main goal of economic policy. Hence, international organizations like United Nations, International Monetary Fund, International Labour Organization, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development were set up after the war to fight employment. However, in the 1980’s, full employment was downgraded as a policy goal and foul-lined by other goals such as manipulating inflation, cutting down the budget deficit, distinguishing tariffs and squeezing the size and role of government. At the same time, the “structural adjustment policies” were imposed by International Monetary Fund and World Bank as a condition for developing countries to receive loans. Therefore, the developing countries that face debt problems took on these policies to avoid default. Today, this story repeated with the “austerity” adopted as the priority policy set in European countries which contribute to the unemployment, recession and inequality. A policy war once again burst out between...
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