Global jobs black hole threatens Millennium Development Goals
The UN Secretary General’s office has just released a draft report on progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. It makes for sober reading. Given the scale of the global financial crisis, “over 300 million new jobs will need to be created over the next five years” and that’s just to “return to precrisis levels of unemployment.”
Pre-crisis, some 633 million workers, or 21.2% of the world’s workforce, were struggling to feed their families on less than $1.25 per person per day. Thanks to the global financial crisis our planet is now home to an extreme 215 million workers living in absolute poverty.
The crisis has hit youth the hardest. The unemployment rate globally for those aged between 15 and 24 has jumped up nearly two percent in the last year to 14%. And women still face significant barriers to get decent jobs and wages.
The Millennium Development Goals or MDGs, are global development targets to address issues such as poverty, health, education, gender equality. Set in 2000, the task of reaching the goals by 2015 looks tougher than ever, especially for the world’s workers.
The UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) set an ambitious goal last year to cover 50 million people with social protection plans over the next three years. It’s a good start but serious global leadership will be needed during the review of MDG progress this year to gather the resources to fill this global black hole with green and decent jobs, and quality public services. It sounds like the world needs a Robin Hood Tax more than ever.