ILO Director-General Guy Ryder has welcomed the recommendations by G20 Labour Ministers to step up their efforts to promote jobs and economic growth. “G20 governments have agreed on a range of policy measures aimed at improving conditions for accelerated growth and job creation. The recognition that, in addition to investment in the real economy of productive enterprises, labour market policies such as wage rises targeted on the lower paid are drivers of aggregate demand and growth, is a major step forward,” said Ryder.
He was speaking at the closing of a G20 Labour and Employment Ministers’ meeting, which took place in Moscow this week. The Declaration adopted by the Ministers sets out a series of policy proposals on job creation, labour activation, equity and inclusion that G20 countries will draw on to accelerate recovery in employment.
Ryder presented ILO analyses, prepared in collaboration with the OECD, of policy actions taken by G20 countries in follow-up to previous Ministerial meetings. “It is encouraging to see that G20 governments are increasingly ready to take concrete actions to boost job growth,” he said.
Business and labour representatives presented their proposals to the Ministers, including a joint position on quality apprenticeship training.
First of its kind
The Russian G20 Presidency also convened a first joint meeting of Employment and Finance Ministers. Their communiqué stressed the importance of coordinated and integrated policies to act on both the demand and supply sides of labour markets. Ministers identified six policy fields as important for a broad range of countries:
- Integrated macroeconomic, financial and labour market policies that foster growth and employment;
- Fostering a sound domestic investment, business climate, especially for SMEs, start-ups and venture business;
- Delivering reforms to foster growth and job creation, address labour market segmentation, reduce informality and promote inclusive labour markets while fully respecting workers’ rights and social protection;
- Implementing policies to increase labour force participation including among youth, women, seniors, and people with disabilities, as well as reducing structural unemployment, long-term unemployment, underemployment and job informality;
- Implementing labour market and social investment policies that support aggregate demand and reduce inequality, such as a broad-based increase in productivity, targeted social protection, appropriately set minimum wages with respect to national wage setting systems, collective bargaining arrangements and other policies to reinforce the links between productivity, wages and employment.
- Promoting well-targeted cost effective and efficient labour activation programs, focused on skills training and upgrading, especially for vulnerable groups, and fostering youth employment, including by youth guarantee approaches, promoting vocational training and apprenticeships and facilitating exchange of best practices among G20 countries and social partners on activation policies.