Labour and employment ministers from across the G20 came together in Melbourne, Australia from 10–11 September 2014 for the Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting.
Over the course of the two days they discussed practical ways to create more jobs, boost participation and prevent unemployment from becoming structural across the G20.
While the G20 economies are continuing to recover from the Global Financial Crisis, ministers also focussed on medium to long-term challenges in order to reduce persistent unemployment and lift growth potential—for example through skills development and better workforce participation.
G20 members spoke about how to increase job growth across the G20 to help address disadvantage, improve productivity and drive growth.
They also reflected on the high cost to business and national economies caused by poor workplace health and safety.
Female labour force participation rates and high youth unemployment are two key issues faced by G20 economies, and both topics were a focus on the agenda for the ministerial meeting.
At the completion of the meeting, the ministers released a Declaration outlining their commitments to address thelabour, employment and social challenges faced, nationally and globally.
- promoting greater participation by women in the labour market, and closing gender gaps in labour market outcomes.
- taking concrete actions to place young people in education, training or jobs
- taking further steps to reduce the substantial economic costs associated with unsafe workplaces and work-related illness
- sets of policy priorities to prevent unemployment and underemployment from becoming structural, and create better jobs
- taking forward strategies to support the transition of workers employed informally into the formal economy
The International Labour Organization, International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Bank prepared a series of reports to inform the ministers’ discussions and declaration.
Ministers and international organisation representatives also met with members of the G20 engagement groups to hear their recommendations and bring in perspectives from outside of government.
G20 members will finalise their Employment Plans and contributions to the Growth Strategies ahead of the G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane from 15–16 November.