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Jobs and Growth: Can’t Have One Without the Other?

IMF Deputy Managing Director Min Zhu wrote today in imfdirect:

As Frank Sinatra crooned about love and marriage, so it seems about jobs and growth:
“This I tell ya, brother, you can’t have one without the other.”

The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook projects global growth of 3 ½ percent this year. To the person on the street, what matters is how this growth translates into jobs and wages. The news on the jobs front, unfortunately, remains grim.

Five years after the onset of the Great Recession, 16 million more people are likely to remain unemployed this year than in 2007. This estimate is for a set of countries for which the IMF forecasts unemployment rates; adding in some countries for which the International Labour Organization provides forecasts only boosts the number.

The bulk of this increase in unemployed people has been in the so-called advanced economies (the IMF’s term for countries with high per capita incomes), as shown in the chart below.

Why isn’t the jobs picture better? Quite simply, it’s because the growth picture isn’t very good.


Consider Chart 2, which shows how for advanced economies the change in unemployment rates expected between 2011 and 2012 correlates with the IMF’s forecasts for growth this year.

Countries such as Cyprus, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, where GDP is expected to decline in 2012 are the ones where unemployment is expected to increase this year.

In Iceland, New Zealand, and the United States, where GDP is expected to grow, unemployment rates are expected to decline.

While these declines are welcome, unemployment rates are still expected to remain high in most advanced economies this year.

The average unemployment rate in these economies is expected to 7 ¾ percent, with several populous economies such as the United States, France, the United Kingdom at or above this average.

Policy response

The need to bring down these high unemployment rates is paramount.

That’s why the IMF stated in its recent World Economic Outlook that “the highest priority, but also the most difficult to achieve, is to durably increase growth in advanced economies, and especially in Europe.”

Specifically, policies must be strengthened to solidify the weak recovery and contain the many downside risks.

In the short term this will require:

  • more efforts to address the euro crisis; 
  • a temperate approach to fiscal restraint in response to weaker activity; 
  • a continuation of the very accommodative monetary policies; and 
  • ample liquidity to the financial sector.

IMF Deputy Managing Director Min Zhu wrote today in imfdirect:

As Frank Sinatra crooned about love and marriage, so it seems about jobs and growth:
“This I tell ya, brother, you can’t have one without the other.”

The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook projects global growth of 3 ½ percent this year. To the person on the street, what matters is how this growth translates into jobs and wages.

Read the full article…

Posted by at 1:46 PM

Labels: Unemployment

The Global Recovery: Where Do We Stand?

The recovery from the Great Recession has been unusually uneven: very weak in many advanced economies but surprisingly strong in many emerging and developing economies. The trajectory of the ongoing recovery in advanced economies has so far displayed some disturbing similarities with the sluggish recovery following the much shallower 1991 global recession. Read the full article here.

The recovery from the Great Recession has been unusually uneven: very weak in many advanced economies but surprisingly strong in many emerging and developing economies. The trajectory of the ongoing recovery in advanced economies has so far displayed some disturbing similarities with the sluggish recovery following the much shallower 1991 global recession. Read the full article here.

Read the full article…

Posted by at 12:09 PM

Labels: Uncategorized

Is U.S. Long-Term Unemployment Set to Decline?

Is U.S. long term unemployment set to decline? That’s what an updated version of my paper on cyclical versus structural unemployment predicts. The data in recent quarters have shown an even faster pace of decline than the prediction. Tomorrow’s unemployment number will tell if this trend continues. The paper was presented at the San Francisco Fed Conference (see my presentation). Here’s what Valerie Ramey and Steve Davis said about the paper.

Is U.S. long term unemployment set to decline? That’s what an updated version of my paper on cyclical versus structural unemployment predicts. The data in recent quarters have shown an even faster pace of decline than the prediction. Tomorrow’s unemployment number will tell if this trend continues. The paper was presented at the San Francisco Fed Conference (see my presentation). Here’s what Valerie Ramey and Steve Davis said about the paper.

Read the full article…

Posted by at 7:51 PM

Labels: Unemployment

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