The Employment Imperative: 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. The Report 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 closely examines four areas of increasing concern: jobless growth, global informalization of the labour market, economic and social liberalization, and migration. The Report shows that, in the current phase of globalization, labour markets have been evolving in the direction of greater economic insecurity and greater levels of most forms of inequality, adversely affecting the opportunity of people to live a life of decent work and satisfactory employment.Against this background, the Report urges governments to place productive employment for all, rather than economic growth per se, or even simply creating jobs, at the centre of economic and social policy making. 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 work-related discrimination on the basis of race, gender and age and to protect immigrants’ in the workplace and in society in order to promote productive employment for all. Finally, 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.