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Employment Advances at Antalya's G20 Summit

Research Report by Caroline Bracht, Senior Researcher, G20 Research Group
December 1, 2015

As countries continue to try to overcome the challenge of too few reliable, good jobs in the face of sluggish growth, employment has become a central issue domestically and thus also at the G20 summit table.

So how did the 2015 Antalya Summit hosted by Turkey perform on its priority employment agenda?

Initially the Antalya summit communiqué stuck to the traditional G20 phraseology that growth must be inclusive and rich in jobs. It also framed employment policy as a solution to destabilizing inequality, stating that a "comprehensive and balanced set of economic, financial, labour, education and social policies will contribute to reducing inequalities." The communiqué made 10 commitments to address four aspects of employment: implementation, youth, aging and accountability (see Appendix A).

First, on implementation G20 leaders declared their commitment to implement the priorities outlined in the declaration issued by the G20 labour and employment ministers at their meeting on September 4, 2015, in Ankara, Turkey.

Second, the leaders focused directly on youth. Their commitment to decrease youth unemployment was framed not only as an unemployment issue but also as an underemployment and informality one. Leaders pointed to the G20 Framework on Promoting Quality Jobs, the G20 Skills Strategy and the promotion of entrepreneurship as three ways to address their objective. The Antalya Summit concluded with a memorable deliverable in the form of a commitment to reduce the share of young people who are most at risk of being permanently left behind in the labour market by 15% by 2025. This target had already been articulated by the labour and employment ministers in September, but its inclusion in the summit communiqué was the first time a specific target on youth unemployment had been set by leaders. The commitment had the same timeline as the gender commitment to decrease the gender gap in labour market participation by 25% by 2025, which they made at the 2014 Brisbane Summit.

Third, G20 leaders focused on another subset of the population, namely the aging population also referred to as the silver economy. They positioned this population as offering both opportunities and challenges, and committed to explore its potential.

Fourth, accountability was a cross-cutting theme. Throughout the three paragraphs on employment, the leaders included three different accountability mechanisms. The finance and labour and employment ministers were asked to review the growth strategies and employment plans. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Labor Organization were asked to monitor the 2025 youth unemployment goal. And the leaders requested in an explicit remit mandate that their labour and employment ministers report on progress in assessing the opportunities and challenges of the aging population.

In conclusion the employment agenda was substantially advanced at the 2015 Antalya Summit, relative to the G20's performance before (Kirton, Kulik and Bracht 2015). Its 10 commitments are likely to be complied with, given the strong compliance performance on employment of G20 summits past (see Appendix B).

Antalya advanced employment by building on the meetings of the labour and employment ministers as well as G20 Employment Working Group. The greatest advance was the concrete time-bound commitment, which included a request for core international organizations to monitor their progress. These two aspects of a timeline and a monitoring mechanism involving core international organizations increase the likelihood that the G20 commitment will be realized. Antalya also introduced a concept of the silver economy to the G20 agenda. Framing it as an opportunity and issuing the directive to assess its potential gains and losses will assist in stabilizing growth as populations age and the dynamics of the workforce shift. With these new commitments and the gender employment commitment from 2014, three different subsets of vulnerable populations — the young, the old and women — are now being addressed in a significant way. G20 leaders now have multiple tasks directly focused on employment and vulnerable populations to complete before the G20's next summit in Hangzhou, China, in September 2016.

Reference

Kirton, John, Julia Kulik and Caroline Bracht (2015), "Slowly Succeeding: G20 Social Policy Governance," in Alexandra Kaasch and Kerstin Martens, eds., Actors and Agency in Global Social Governance (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 153–172.

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Appendix A: Employment Commitments at the Antalya G20 Summit, 2015

2015-3: [We are firm in our resolve to ensure growth] delivers more and better quality jobs

2015-21: We are committed to ensure that growth is inclusive, job-rich and benefits all segments of our societies

2015-22: [We] commit to implementing its priorities to make labour markets more inclusive as outlined by the G20 Policy Priorities on Labour Income Share and Inequalities.

2015-23: We are determined to support the better integration of our young people into the labour market including through the promotion of entrepreneurship.

2015-24: Building on our previous commitments and taking into account our national circumstances, we agree to the G20 goal of reducing the share of young people who are most at risk of being permanently left behind in the labour market by 15% by 2025 in G20 countries.

2015-25: We will continue monitoring the implementation of our Employment Plans as well as our goals to reduce gender participation gap

2015-26: [We will continue] to foster safer and healthier workplaces also within sustainable global supply chains.

2015-27: We will address current opportunities and challenges brought into the labour markets through such issues as international labour mobility

2015-28: [We will address current opportunities and challenges brought into the labour markets through] the ageing of populations

2015-96: [We remain resolute to continue our collective action to] support job creation

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Appendix B: Compliance with G20 Employment Commitments 2008–2014

Labour and Employment (10 commitments)

 

Argentina

Australia

Brazil

Canada

China

France

Germany

India

Indonesia

Italy

Japan

Korea

Mexico

Russia

Saudi Arabia

South Africa

Turkey

United Kingdom

United States

European Union

2011
Cannes

156: We are committed to renew our efforts to combat unemployment and promote decent jobs, especially for youth and others who have been most affected by the economic crisis.

0.70

1

0

1

1

1

0

1

1

−1

1

1

0

1

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

2012
Los Cabos

35: We therefore endorse the recommendations of our Labor and Employment Ministers to urgently combat unemployment through appropriate labor market measures and fostering the creation of decent work and quality jobs, particularly for youth and other vulnerable groups, who have been severely hit by the economic crisis.

1.00

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2013
St. Petersburg

68: [We commit to ensure] effective labour activation policies are in place to help jobseekers find work and bring under-represented and vulnerable groups into the labour market and reduce informality

0.75

1

1

1

0

−1

1

1

1

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2013
St. Petersburg

74: [We are committed to] vocational training programmes

0.85

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

1

1

0

1

1

1

0

1

1

1

2013
St. Petersburg

64: [We commit to] invest in our people's skills [to give them skill portability and better prospects, to facilitate mobility and enhance employability].

0.80

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2013
St. Petersburg

66: [We commit to invest in] life-long learning programs to give them skill portability and better prospects, to facilitate mobility and enhance employability

0.50

1

1

1

1

0

0

1

0

1

1

1

1

0

1

0

0

−1

0

1

0

2013
St. Petersburg

75: [We are committed to] finding innovative ways to encourage firms to hire youth for example by, where appropriate, reducing non-wage labour costs, moving towards early intervention measures and effective job-search assistance for different groups of youth, and motivating youth entrepreneurship and business start-ups.]

0.55

1

1

1

1

−1

0

0

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

0

1

0

1

1

1

2013
St. Petersburg

79: We commit to encourage the private sector, including small and medium sized enterprises as one of our most important partners, in fostering inclusive economic growth including for job creation and labour absorption."

0.85

0

1

1

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2014
Brisbane

33: We are strongly committed to reducing youth unemployment, which is unacceptably high, by acting to ensure young people are in education, training or employment."

0.70

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

1

1

1

−1

1

0

1

0

1

1

1

2014
Brisbane

39: We remain focussed on addressing ... long-term unemployment, by ... having appropriate social protection systems.

0.55

1

1

0

1

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

1

0

Average

 

0.73

0.80

0.90

0.90

0.90

0.40

0.60

0.90

0.80

0.20

0.80

0.70

0.70

0.60

0.90

0.60

0.80

0.40

0.80

1.00

0.80

 


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