Inventory of Policy Responses to the Financial and Economic Crisis

Stock.xchngThe International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Bank (WB) have released a joint report that represents the first comprehensive stocktaking of countries’ jobs-related policy responses to the recent global financial and economic crisis.

The report, titled “Inventory of Policy Responses to the Financial and Economic Crisis,” demonstrates how governments across the globe and of all income levels used labor market interventions to limit the economic and social impacts of the crisis and spur employment, household income and economic growth, and reduce poverty.

This new online data tool provides a detailed track record of policies enacted during the height of the financial crisis (2008-2010), and implications for the design of policies to address future economic downturns.

The report reveals that in most of the 55 low and middle-income and 22 high-income countries surveyed, there was considerable government intervention to mitigate the impacts of the downturn.

On the demand side, high-income countries focused on facilitating access to credit, while low-and middle-income countries prioritized direct job creation and employment incentives

On the supply side, skills and training measures were a priority for countries of all income levels, but high-income countries had more resources to provide support to young people during the crisis.

But questions remain about how well prepared countries, particularly those on the lower income scale, were to respond to the economic crisis.

The report recommends that countries focus on:

-Improving the coordination between macro and sector-specific policies

-Expanding the coverage of social insurance to all workers

-Integrating and strengthening safety nets

-Rethinking the design of active labor market programs including those used to stimulate labor demand

-Investing in labor market information systems

-Promoting social dialogue

-Increasing vigilance to avoid violations of rights at work