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Report on the World Social Situation 2007

The Employment Imperative

image of Report on the World Social Situation 2007

The 2007 issue of the Report on the World Social Situation focuses on the key role of productive employment and decent work in reducing poverty and promoting social development. It surveys the global trends in employment and work, as well as the socio-economic context within which the world of work has evolved in the last two decades. It recommends that policies and strategies to promote full employment and decent work take into account demographic and social changes. The Report emphasizes that political reforms and legal provisions are necessary to prevent discrimination in the workplace and in society in order to promote productive employment. The Report points to the need to ensure universality of some form of social protection coverage in view of the fact that more and more workers are in employment situations that are casual, informal and out of standard collective contracts, by choice or by necessity.

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Inequalities, employment generation and decent work

The subject of inequality is central when examining the challenges of employment- generation and decent work (International Labour Organization, 2007). The evident worsening of economic and social inequality in the past three decades raises an important question on the impact, that such trends have had on the growth of employment and work opportunities. Although well-known economic models have postulated that some inequality promotes investment and economic growth, certain empirical evidence indicates that a high degree of inequality has a negative impact on subsequent economic outcomes. Moreover, better wealth redistribution can indeed promote sustainable economic growth which would generate a relative improvement in work opportunities for lowerincome groups and for lower-income countries.

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