Trade and Development Report 2010

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The Report 2010 focuses on the need to make employment creation a priority in economic policy. Unemployment is the most pressing social and economic problem of our time, not least because, especially in developing countries, it is closely related to poverty. The fallout from the global crisis has exacerbated what were already sluggish labour markets in most countries even before the crisis erupted. It also warns that a premature withdrawal of macroeconomic stimulus measures to expand demand in developed countries may trigger a deflationary spiral in the global economy, with attendant slumps in growth and employment. The publication draws attention to the importance of strengthening the macroeconomic policy framework to promote sustainable growth and employment creation in both developed and developing countries, and makes recommendations for a reorientation of macroeconomic policies and institution building aimed at strengthening domestic demand.

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Macroeconomic aspects of job creation and unemployment

Most observers acknowledge that the period from the early 1990s until around 2007 delivered some economic successes, such as satisfactory or even rapid output growth in a number of developing countries (although average growth rates were still lower than in the 1960s and 1970s) and relatively low inflation. However, all of them agree that labour market outcomes were generally unsatisfactory in this period of accelerated globalization: employment typically grew at much lower rates than output – or in some cases did not grow at all – and the share of wages in national income generally declined in both developed and developing countries.

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