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Elusive Employment

Sign of a sickly job market in Chicago, photo: ChiBart/flickr

With unemployment in many parts of the world the worst of the post-World War II era, policymakers are scrambling for solutions. This week the ISN examines the long-term unemployment trends of this ‘Great Recession’ and puts forward some potential policy prescriptions.

This ISN Special Report contains the following content:

  • An Analysis by Dr Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, on the worst US unemployment figures in the post-World War II era – and why Europe is faring better.
  • A Podcast interview with Dr Johannes J├╝tting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development examines how workers in developing countries are adjusting to increasing job insecurity – namely by moving deeper into the informal labor market.
  • Security Watch articles about job security crises from Spain to Honduras, the US to India, and much more.
  • Publications housed in our Digital Library, including an analysis from the US Congressional Research Service on the current trend in long-term unemployment compared with that during previous recessions.
  • Primary Resources, like the US Bureau of Labor Statistics report on how governments measure unemployment.
  • Links to relevant websites, such as the International Labor Organization’s Youth Employment Network.
  • Our IR Directory, featuring Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing, a global research-policy network that seeks to improve the status of the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy.
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Government Business and Finance

Good News, But Bad News Will Keep Coming

In the wake of the Xinjiang riots, mass casualties and plenty of unwanted press, Chinese leaders were undoubtedly hoping for some good news.

They did not have to wait long. Little more than a week after the Urumqi riots Chinese authorities announced that the Chinese economy had grown by a healthy 7.9 percent in the second quarter of 2009. Compared to the West, this is a spectacular achievement and an encouraging sign for all those that saw the end of the world coming just months ago.

To the surprise of many seasoned China analysts and economists, China’s stimulus package managed to inject much-needed capital into the industrial sector; succeeded in offsetting the worst effects of massive export-industry layoffs by employing migrant workers in government projects, and perhaps most importantly, ensured that government-owned banks continued to lend despite the downturn. Even retail sales rebounded, the government announced, indicating that the Chinese consumer is still feeling confident and secure (unlike the rest of us).