IMF warns of dire job market unrest

Job seekers wait in line before entering a job fair in San Francisco, Calif.


STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Joblessness could pose the next big threat to the global economic recovery. The head of the International Monetary Fund said long-term unemployment could lead to massive social unrest. Marketplace's Stephen Beard is live with us from London with the latest. Hi Stephen.


CHIOTAKIS: How bad is the global unemployment situation?

BEARD: Yeah, well the latest figures put unemployment at its highest in history. Officially, 210 million are out of work worldwide, 34 million of them as a result of the crisis. Long-term unemployment is getting worse. In the U.S., half the unemployed have been out of work for over six months -- something we haven't seen since the Great Depression. As you said, the head of the IMF says this could easily lead to serious social unrest.

CHIOTAKIS: And what is the head of the IMF proposing as a remedy?

BEARD: He's said very clearly what governments should not do. He says they should not cut public spending drastically, he says that will only make matters worse. This is a direct rebuke to U.S. Republicans who are calling for cuts and to the British government, which is actually planning major cuts. And this coincides with a serious warning here from a British police chief that the police may not be able to cope with the likely unrest in Britain. Mind you, the skeptics say there is a certain amount of special pleading here. The police could well themselves be one of the targets of the British cuts, and they want to warn the U.K. government that whatever they cut, the police must remain unscathed.

CHIOTAKIS: Marketplace's Stephen Beard reporting from London. Stephen, thanks.

BEARD: OK Steve.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the London Bureau Chief, providing daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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