34 million jobs lost

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The most recent ILO estimates—from January of this year—put global job losses between 2007 and 2009 at 34 million. This, of course, is on top of the many people who continue to have a job but have seen their hours (and wages) slashed. Some persuasive research indicates that reduced hours was more of an issue than outright job losses in middle-income countries. A report last week (again from the ILO) indicates that developing countries have fortunately started to rebound. How can this rebound be put on solid footing?

That is the question that a panel of experts and officials from the Annual Meetings will be trying to answer during the Open Forum tomorrow. From 2:30pm-4:00pm on Thursday, panelists at the Jumpstarting Jobs session will look at how the financial crisis has impacted jobs, ask how developing countries can stimulate job creation, and then take a close look at issues of youth unemployment. The list of speakers is up now (full bios on the Jumpstarting Jobs page):

On-Screen Host: Femi Oke, Senior Editor, Public Radio International

Segment 1, 2:30-3:00pm, Impact of the Financial Crisis on Jobs
• Stephen Pursey, Senior Advisor and Director of Policy Integration, ILO
• Shanta Devarajan, Chief Economist, Africa Region, The World Bank
• Christian Ketels, Principal Associate, Harvard Business School Institute for Strategy & Competitiveness

Segment 2, 3:00-3:30pm, Job Creation and Industry Competitiveness
• Mahmoud Mohieldin, Managing Director, The World Bank
• Janamitra Devan, Vice President and Head of Network, Financial and Private Sector Development, The World Bank & IFC
• Ümit Boyner, Chairwoman, Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (TÜSİAD) (via pre-taped interview)

Segment 3, 3:30-4:00pm, Youth Unemployment
• Tamar Atinc, Vice President, Human Development Network, The World Bank
• Mahmoud Mohieldin, Managing Director, The World Bank
• Radha Muthiah, Vice President, CARE USA

Right now, anyone who can get online can go and submit a question for the panelists. If it's a good question—and the global audience votes your question up—it'll be relayed to Femi Oke, who'll be directing questions to the speakers. Here are the questions I voted up:

  • Existing businesses are not absorbing youth into jobs/careers. Entrepreneurship is an opportunity to create novel businesses and jobs. How do we make it so, across borders, cultures and norms?
  • Why is youth unemployment highest in Sub-Saharan Africa? What can institutions like the World Bank [do] to reduce youth unemployment in Sub-saharan Africa?
  • What is the fate of fragile economies, especially in Africa in the face of the growing job crisis across the globe? Don't you think failure to stem the tide of unemployment in the continent could joepardize the current development efforts?


Ryan Hahn

Operations Officer

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