Downturn may cost 25 million jobs in OECD countries: report

Downturn may cost 25 million jobs in OECD countries: report

Paris: The economic downturn will likely cost as many as 25 million people their jobs by end-2010 as the unemployment rate nears a record 10% in the OECD group of countries, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said 15 million jobs were lost between end-2007 and July 2009 and 10 million more could go by the end of next year despite signs that the economy is picking up.

“A major risk is that much of this large hike in unemployment becomes structural in nature," the report said.

The OECD-wide unemployment rate has already hit the highest on records going back to World War II, surging to 8.3% by June 2009 from 5.6% at the end of 2007, the annual report from the Paris-based OECD said.

The latest aggregate readout, for July, is 8.5%.

Spain, Ireland and the United States were worst hit, with unemployment rates rising by 9.7 percentage points, 7.8 percentage points and 4.5 percentage points respectively between the start of 2007 and mid-2009, it said.

“The labour market outlook would be even worse if governments has not pursued expansionary monetary and fiscal policy," said the OECD, estimating that government spending on anti-recession projects will raise total employment next year by about 0.8-1.4% more than would otherwise have happened.

This downturn is destroying considerably more jobs than other recessions since the early 1970s, the report says.

Most of the world’s high-income countries and a few others are members of the OECD but others such as China and India are not.