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Protectionism, unemployment and riots as the global slump deepens
February 6, 2009
We are facing “a global jobs crisis”, said Juan Somavia, head of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). As the worst global downturn since the war tightens its grip, employers across the globe have been swinging the axe in earnest. Last Monday alone saw over 70,000 jobs cut by seven companies across Europe and the US. Spain lost almost 200,000 jobs in January, a record monthly jump. Jobless claims are now at around 3.3 million, a 47% rise from November.
Ireland’s unemployment rate has almost doubled to 9.2% in a year. China estimates that 20 million migrant workers, or one sixth of the total, have lost their jobs over the past few months. According to the ILO, worldwide unemployment could rise by 50 million to 230 million this year – a 27% rise from 2007 levels. The potential social and political fallout, said the ILO, is “daunting”.
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