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  • » 02/19/2009, 00.00

    ASIA

    ILO forecasts loss of between 7 and 22 million Asian jobs in 2009



    The group warns about the risk of social protests, and advises governments to save the jobs and provide for the needs of the most vulnerable. But many say that the estimate is too optimistic: in China's Guangdong province alone, 20 million jobs were lost in the second quarter of 2008.

    Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) - In 2009, Asia will have at least 7.2 million fewer jobs following the global crisis, according to a study published yesterday by the International Labour Group. In the worst-case scenario, the ILO says that 22.3 million jobs will be lost in 2009, and 50 million for the entire period of 2007-2009. It forecasts that in 2009, there will be between 97 and 113 million people unemployed in Asia.

    Sachiko Yamamato, the regional director of the ILO, warns that this scenario means that the "prospect [of unrest] is a real one, and therefore social partners have to be included in policy discussions in order to make sure that the most vulnerable and most affected people are given the centre of attention in fiscal measures." Governments' so-called stimulus measures for the economy must also be aimed first of all at creating jobs.

    Following the crisis, a number of countries, like Malaysia, South Korea, and Thailand, have stop giving permits to foreign workers, which is causing more problems for other countries. It is estimated that a third of the Asian population is already "poor" (living on less than a dollar a day).

    Experts nonetheless note the difficulty of obtaining precise current figures, in part because of the large numbers of people, especially migrants, who work in the underground economy. They observe that in Guangdong alone, the region with the largest concentration of economic production in China, official figures show that about 20 million jobs were lost in the second quarter of 2008, while the prospects for the immediate future are no better.

    (In the photo: a protest in Taiwan by workers dismissed without pay)

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    See also

    03/03/2009 CHINA
    Jia Qinling: Maintaining order and social stability in Tibet
    The Political Consultative Conference is underway, and the National People's Congress meets in two days. The Chinese leader calls for maintaining the "harmonious society," urging that workers not be fired and their pay not be withheld in the face of a deepening economic crisis. Repression of the Tibetans has been approved. Beijing is under tighter police control than it was during the Olympics.

    02/02/2009 CHINA
    Rural population assisted, exploited as a new domestic market
    A new document from the communist party to support the rural population and utilize it in the current economic crisis. Preoccupation over social revolts. Hu Jintao: the army should prepare for military clashes.

    11/02/2009 CHINA
    China's exports collapse, more than 20 million jobs lost
    Exports dropped by 17.5% in January, more than the most downbeat projections. Imports are down by 43%: the markets of the Asia-Pacific region are in crisis. It is feared that growth will not exceed 6%. Now attention is on what the government will do, after focusing so far only on public investment and bank financing.

    07/01/2009 CHINA
    Xinhua says there will be more unemployment and social revolts in 2009
    With the closing of factories, unemployment is on the rise for migrant workers. There is also unemployment among new graduates, and young people seeking their first job. It is estimated that in 2009, Beijing will have to find jobs for at least 33 million people.

    06/12/2008 CHINA
    Urban unemployment over 12%: high risk of social protests
    A researcher warns that unemployment is much higher than the official numbers, and that the increase of social injustice could generate a situation out of control. Meanwhile, the government is revising fuel prices, and increasing taxes on it.



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