Panel Discussion: The Global Jobs Pact and Macroeconomic Policy
Moderated by Mr. Simon Long from The Economist, panellists discussed various issues including how employment can become a macroeconomic objective of the same order as low inflation and deficits. Panellists included: Ms Sandra Polaski, Deputy Under Secretary, Department of Labor, United States; Ms Maria Helena André, Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity, Portugal; Ms Aisha Abdel Hady, Minister of Manpower and Migration, Egypt; Mr Carlos Tomada, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security, Argentina; Mr Richard Samans, Managing Director, World Economic Forum; Mr Alberto Nadal, Secretary General, Confederation of Spanish Employers; and Mr Guy Ryder, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
Ms. Sandra Polaski, Deputy Under Secretary, Department of Labor, United States:
“No one would claim that it was workers who caused the crisis... No one would claim that it was the poor that caused the crisis. And yet working households, workers and the poor have borne a terrible burden because of the crisis already.” > See her full video message
Ms. Maria Helena André, Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity, Portugal :
“The face of this crisis is made up of people who have lost their jobs and of enterprises that have been destroyed... Our main concern must always be to support the most vulnerable, and to support them in the moments of transition”.
Mr. Guy Ryder, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC):
“Of course one accepts that there is going to have to be a rebalancing of public finance. I don’t think anybody is arguing that deficits and debt growth can continue indefinitely, but if I think if you took an objective look at the way we are moving, an early rush to austerity is simply going to make matters worse.”
Mr. Richard Samans, Managing Director, World Economic Forum
“We’ve arrived at a stage of the evolution of this rolling crisis... where we have to think about deeper structural issues. It’s time to move beyond crisis response and toward rebalancing, in a fundamental sense”.
Ms. Aisha Abdel Hady, Minister of Manpower and Migration, Egypt:
“We think that the role played by the G 20 is very important, especially when it comes to help the poorest countries, and we appreciate it – especially in dealing with the implications of the financial crisis. We really have to ensure that we have a global representation to tackle all problems in the world – economic and social”.
Mr. Carlos Tomada, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security, Argentina:
“I honestly believe this is not a question of one austerity measure after another. We must once and for all look at the real economy, at the productive economy, which will ultimately give us the chance to achieve employment growth and a sustainable economy for all”.
Mr. Alberto Nadal, Secretary General, Confederation of Spanish Employers:
“We must not forget that employment is created by enterprises, not countries... What is the right environment for enterprises to create employment? What is it that makes a young Spanish or European person create an enterprises and hire workers? We need the right framework to make this happen”.