On April 20 in Washington, USCIB Executive Vice President Ronnie Goldberg took part in the launch of a joint report from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the World Bank detailing how countries reacted to the recent financial and economic crisis – and its dramatic effects on employment. The two groups also unveiled a new online data tool with the first comprehensive stocktaking of countries’ jobs-related policy responses to the crisis.
Delivering on a request by the G20 leaders at their 2009 Pittsburgh summit, the report, “Inventory of Policy Responses to the Financial and Economic Crisis,” demonstrates how governments across the globe and of all income levels used labor market interventions to limit the economic and social impacts of the crisis and spur employment, household income, and economic growth, and reduce poverty. This new online data tool (available at www.ilo.org/crisis-inventory) provides a detailed track record of policies enacted during the height of the financial crisis, and implications for the design of policies to address future economic downturns.
The report reveals that in most of the 55 low-income and middle-income and 22 high-income countries surveyed, unlike previous crises, there was considerable government intervention to mitigate the impact of the downturn. Not only did a majority of affected countries use expansionary fiscal and monetary policies to stimulate the economy, they also directly intervened to protect or create employment, preserve skills and facilitate the matching between job-seekers and employers, and protect the incomes of the unemployed and vulnerable groups. In many cases, social dialogue helped guide the policy response. This was critical, for instance, when implementing work-sharing arrangements.
Staff contact: Ariel Meyerstein