50 million job losses projected worldwide for 2009 - ILO
Massive job losses around the world will mark the end of the first decade of the 21st century, with the United Nations' International Labour Organization (ILO) projecting 50 million by the end of 2009.
Worldwide job losses from the recession that started in the United States in December 2007 could hit a staggering 50 million by the end of 2009, according to the International Labor Organization, a United Nations agency. The slowdown has already claimed 3.6 million American jobs.
High unemployment rates, especially among young workers, have led to protests in countries as varied as Latvia, Chile, Greece, Bulgaria and Iceland and contributed to strikes in Britain and France.
As the global financial crisis deepens and unemployment increases, some worry that free-market policies will be abandoned and protectionist measures inplemented.
In emerging economies like those in Eastern Europe, there are fears that growing joblessness might encourage a move away from free-market, pro-Western policies, while in developed countries unemployment could bolster efforts to protect local industries at the expense of global trade.
Indeed, some European stimulus packages, as well as one passed Friday in the United States, include protections for domestic companies, increasing the likelihood of protectionist trade battles.
Protectionist measures were an intense matter of discussion as finance ministers from the Group of 7 economies met this weekend in Rome.
Since the American financial sector began to implode rapidly last fall, governments the world over have failed to kickstart their own faltering economies or staunch massive job losses despite billion-dollar bailouts to banks and major industries.