G20 Leaders Confront Debt, Unemployment & Slow Economic Growth

Posted October 31st, 2011 at 1:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Global unemployment, slow economic growth, and severe debt issues confront G20 leaders as they gather in France this week to haggle over solutions to economic problems.

The G20 is made up of 20 of the most important economies from around the world, and represent most of the globe's population, trade, and output. This G20 summit officially begins Thursday in Cannes, France.

Two reports published Monday give new information about the size of the economic problems on the agenda.

The International Labor Organization says global unemployment is at a record high of 200 million people. The U.N. agency also says the world economy has to have a net gain of 80 million jobs per year to cut the jobless rate to the levels seen before the economic crisis. It warns the global economy is on the verge of a new and deeper jobs recession, which is likely to bring greater social unrest.

A separate report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development urges G20 leaders to make “bold” decisions to get the world's economy back on track. The OECD report says an important first step would be to “promptly and forcefully” implement the recent agreement to cut Greek debt in half and expand a European bailout fund.

Other nations are asking China to invest perhaps $100 billion in the bailout fund, but it is not clear what Beijing will do. News reports say Beijing is likely to demand concessions on trade issues in return.