12 Mindsets Ensuring Disappearance of Employment Opportunities
BY TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 6 August 2012
by Anthony Judge – TRANSCEND Media Service
Towards a Systemic Reframing of the Job Culture
Produced in a period when the proportion of jobless in the Eurozone has reached a record level.
Figures released by Eurostat on 31 July 2012 showed that unemployment in the 17 Eurozone countries had increased to a record 11.2% — some 17.8 million people being without jobs. Spanish unemployment has reached 24.6%. The situation has increased pressure on the European Central Bank to find ways to help indebted states and spur growth (Eurozone unemployment at record high, EurActiv, 1 August 2012). These figures reflect a worldwide trend (Worldwide unemployment rate rising, says ILO, France24, 30 April 2012). The International Labour Organisation has predicted global unemployment would reach 202 million people in 2012 — a global unemployment rate of 6.1%. These figures focus exclusively on “job seekers” amongst those defined to be of “working age”. They offer no indication with regard to others who may be variously inactive or unemployed.
The ILO’s World of Work Report 2012: Better jobs for a better economy indicates that fiscal austerity and labour market reforms had had “devastating consequences” for employment while mostly failing to cut deficits, and warns that governments risked fueling unrest unless they combined tighter spending with job creation. Some 50 million jobs were reported to have disappeared since the 2008 financial crisis, with a further 5 million people expected to become unemployed in 2013. It is described as unlikely that the world economy will grow at a sufficient pace over the next few years to both close the existing jobs deficit and provide employment for the over 80 million people expected to enter the labour market during that period. The share of informal employment remains high, standing at more than 40% in two-thirds of emerging and developing countries for which data are available. Women and youth are disproportionately affected by unemployment and job precariousness. In particular, youth unemployment rates have increased in about 80% of advanced economies and in two-thirds of developing economies.
The report indicated that there is a growing sense that those most affected by the crisis are not receiving adequate policy attention. It notes further that, according to the ILO Social Unrest Index, high unemployment and growing inequality are fuelling social unrest around the world with more than half of 106 countries surveyed by the ILO facing a growing risk of social unrest and discontent.
The quality of political discourse in response to unemployment is comparable to that in response to the global financial crisis. There is now little value in commenting on the continuing demonstration of incompetence of the highest order in governance. The prospect for the emergence of viable strategic responses is highly questionable. Current political discourse might best be described as a simplistic process for blaming the other for failing to be convinced by a preferred argument and converting immediately to that worldview. The blame-game is clearly going nowhere.
The inability to achieve global (or regional) agreement on anything of more than a technical nature is becoming ever more apparent — despite naive assumptions that it remains possible, as previously discussed (The Consensus Delusion: mysterious attractor undermining global civilization as currently imagined, 2011). The systematic abuse of confidence in authority is now striking to an ever greater proportion of the population — especially including the unemployed (Abuse of Faith in Governance, 2009; Ungovernability of Sustainable Global Democracy? 2011). ***– remaindering
The preoccupation here is with the “job culture” as variously framed. This is seen as being as problematic as the current preoccupation with “growth” as a preferred strategy — itself challenged by various arguments in the light of the problems it is perceived to engender. The argument here follows from earlier exercises (In Quest of a Job vs Engendering Employment, 2009; Sustainable Occupation beyond the Economic Rationale, 1998; Being Employed by the Future: reframing the immediate challenge of sustainable community, 1996).
The “mindsets” tentatively identified in what follows could be provocatively caricatured together as being systemically analogous to that of regimes with a policy of “disappearances” — as with the initiatives of the junta during the Dirty War (1976-1983) in Argentina. These may be interpreted by the future as crimes against humanity.
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