Business, Economics and Jobs

The coming jobs disaster for Europe


A protester kicks a tear gas canister in Athens on Feb. 10. Greek protesters threw stones and firebombs at riot police who responded with tear gas.


Aris Messinis

Europe's political and economic crisis is an arcane matter.

Except, of course, if you're a European living through it — to say nothing of trying to find a job there.

The International Labour Organization has underscored that problem today.

In a new report blandly titled "Eurozone jobs crisis: trends and policy responses," the ILO warns that 4.5 million more jobs could be lost in Europe unless policies "change course in a concerted manner."

The coming jump would put the total number of jobless at nearly 22 million, the ILO says.

But what happens in Europe, doesn't stay in Europe.

"It’s not only the Eurozone that’s in trouble, the entire global economy is at risk of contagion,” ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said in the report.

Somavia called on the United Nations and the G20 to come up with a coordinated plan to meet the challenges.

As for the euro zone — where more than half the countries have seen unemployment rise since 2010 — here's the ILO's proposed solution:

"Addressing the jobs crisis in the Eurozone requires, first, repairing the financing system urgently; second, promoting growth and jobs, taking into account initial country conditions, including through well-designed investment and income policies, effective employment programmes, notably youth guarantees, realistic fiscal plans to support jobs while meeting deficit goals in the medium term; and third, greater policy coordination in the Eurozone to support the common currency. A jobs pact is vital for the stability of the Eurozone as a single-currency area."

Download the full report here.

And here's a video the ILO produced to go along with today's news: