[Excerpt] The World of Work Report 2012 provides a comprehensive analysis of recent labour market and social trends, assesses risks of social unrest and presents employment projections for the next five years. The report emphasizes that while employment has begun to recover slowly, job quality is deteriorating and there is a growing sense of unfairness. Moreover, given the pressure on governments to rein in expenditure, policy efforts have focused on structural reforms to boost employment creation. However, if policy instruments are not carefully designed, they could exacerbate the employment situation and aggravate further equity concerns, with potentially long-lasting adverse consequences for both the economy and society.
The report addresses the following questions:
• To what extent has the slow recovery aggravated social conditions, including falling incomes, deepening poverty and worsening inequality?
• Have countries gone too far, too fast with fiscal consolidation? How should they support recovery while meeting fiscal goals in the medium term?
• What can be expected from recent labour market reforms?
• How can investment be boosted so as to ensure a long-lasting recovery in both the economy and jobs?
• What have been the barriers to implementing a more job-centred and equity-enhancing policy approach? Why has the business-as-usual scenario maintained its centrality despite the increasing risk of social unrest?
This report calls for a carefully designed policy approach that takes into consideration the urgent need to create quality jobs while at the same time laying the ground for a more productive, fairer economy and labour market.