Apr 13

Past Event

The Global Jobs Crisis: Sustaining the Recovery through Employment and Equitable Growth

Event Materials



  • Rate of Unemployment was Devastating

    George Akerlof, UC, Berkeley: The high rate of unemployment resulting from the recession was devastating, if we hadn’t taken appropriate action to instigate the recovery when we did the situation would have been far worse.

    George A. Akerlof

  • Creating Sustainable Jobs

    Stephan Pursey, International Labour Organization: Working people all over the world are hurting. They’re dependent on policymakers for answers and they need their leaders to devise a plan that creates good and sustainable jobs.

  • World Needs an Equitable Growth Model

    Sharan Burrow, International Trade Union Confederation: The world needs a new growth model that is equitable, that helps alleviate poverty and offers a livable minimum wage. Can the G-20 provide the leadership needed to reach this goal?

  • Impact on Income Distribution

    Kemal Dervis: In market economies, the recession was preceded by decades of productivity and shared income distribution, but that began to change in the 80s.

    Kemal Derviş

  • The Decade of Employment

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, International Monetary Fund: This should be the decade of employment and that means the financial sector needs to be reformed; it means SMEs need direct access to credit and fiscal policy must be tailored for each country.


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The 2008 global economic crisis hit working people around the world the hardest. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), as many as 30 million people lost their jobs as a result of the crisis. Youth unemployment is especially high, raising the specter of a "lost generation." At the same time, inequality between rich and poor has reached record levels in many countries, which bodes poorly for social cohesion. As recent events in the Middle East and North Africa demonstrate, joblessness and inequality can trigger political instability and unrest.

On April 13, Global Economy and Development at Brookings hosted Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, for a discussion of the global economic crisis and strategies for spurring employment and promoting more equitable and balanced growth around the world. Other panelists included Stephen Pursey, senior adviser to the director-general of the ILO, and George A. Akerlof, 2001 Nobel Prize recipient and the Koshland professor of economics at the University of California at Berkeley. Kemal Derviş, vice president and director of Global Economy and Development, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.

Following the program, the panelists took audience questions.

Event Agenda

  • Introduction and Moderator

  • Featured Speakers

    • Sharan Burrow

      General Secretary

      International Trade Union Confederation

    • Dominique Strauss-Kahn

      Managing Director

      International Monetary Fund

  • Panelists

    • Stephen Pursey

      Senior Adviser to the Director-General

      International Labour Organization


April 13, 2011

10:00 AM - 11:45 AM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105