We all have experienced how the globalized economy has changed the nature of work and the lives of working families in the U.S. and around the world. Workers and employers are calling on international policymakers to do more to address their concerns. Put simply, the current global economy is not delivering decent jobs that pay living wages, ensure social protection, reduce inequality and sustain balanced economic growth.
On February 26, the Brookings Institution hosted Juan Somavía, director-general of the International Labour Organization, for a discussion on U.S. and international perspectives on globalization and economic recovery. Director-General Somavía shared his views on the critical issues affecting the international labor economy and outline his perspective on how best to develop an employment-based framework for strong, sustainable and balanced global growth.
A panel discussion followed featuring Alan Krueger, U.S. assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy and Sandra Polaski, U.S. Department of Labor deputy undersecretary for international affairs. Assistant Secretary Krueger provided the Treasury’s perspective on developing microeconomic policies on labor economy issues such as social insurance and retirement income security. Deputy Undersecretary Polaski offered the Labor Department’s perspective on creating a more stable, secure and prosperous international economic system where workers can achieve greater economic security and have safer workplaces that protect basic workers’ rights. Kemal Derviş, vice president and director of the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.