Thursday, June 17, 2010

Joblessness Is Bad All Over

Over at billy blog, Australian economist Bill Mitchell reports on the devastation that the recession is having on real people around the world.

It is a very bleak picture indeed.

“The crisis has clearly led to significant increases in unemployment (particularly among the youth) – around 45 million workers have been pushed into unemployment since 2007.”

That’s not all. Vulnerable employment has skyrocketed. The ILO defines “vulnerable employment” as:

…inadequate earnings, low productivity and difficult conditions of work that undermine workers’ fundamental rights …

Mitchell says "workers in vulnerable employment, defined as the sum of own-account workers and contributing family workers, are less likely to have formal work arrangements, and are therefore more likely to lack elements associated with decent employment such as adequate social security and recourse to effective social dialogue mechanisms."

The ILO says the vulnerable employment rate ranges from 49.4 … to 52.8 per cent … In 2009, that meant between 1.48 and 1.59 billion workers were vulnerable worldwide.

According to the ILO, the increase in the number of unemployed is “unprecedented.” At the same time, the potential increases in vulnerable employment and working poverty are even more alarming. More workers are likely to be affected, particularly in view of the lack of decent work already evident before the economic crisis.

Mitchell’s conclusion:

“You can guess that things are going to get much worse for workers in the coming years. It is clear that the imposition of austerity programs will damage the bottom end of the income distribution significantly while the top-end-of-town will be spared. In fact the latter will be able to buy up (steal) valuable public assets at bargain prices as the governments are forced by the IMF, the EU and their own stupidity to privatise them.

“As a result there will massive wealth shifts from the public to the wealthy end of the private sector.”