The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Wednesday said unemployment in rich countries may have peaked — but they must create 17 million jobs if they want to return to pre-crisis job levels.
They are "the human cost of the crisis," OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said, urging governments not to neglect them as they seek to repair wrecked balance sheets.
The longer a person is unemployed, the harder it typically becomes for them to gain paid employment. "This threatens to mark whole generations."
The US accounts for more than half of the jobs deficit — with 10 million missing jobs.
America has seen millions of job losses as companies slashed workforce to cut down expenses. The unemployment rate in the US slipped to 9.5 per cent in June from 9.7 per cent in May.
In Europe, Ireland needs to create one job for every five that exist today — 320,000 positions — to reach 2007 levels and Spain has lost 2.5 million jobs, the OECD said in its Employment Outlook 2010.
There are 47 million unemployed in its 31 member countries — the world’s most developed economies, the Paris-based watchdog said.
"But taking into account people who have given up looking for work or are working part-time but want to work full-time, the actual number of unemployed and under-employed in OECD countries could be about 80 million," the report said.
"Cutting unemployment and fiscal deficits at the same time is a daunting challenge but it needs to be tackled head on... High joblessness as the new normal cannot be accepted and has to be tackled by a comprehensive policy strategy," Gurria said.
"Deficit cuts should be done extra carefully and governments will have to do a fine type of surgery instead of using an ax... Governments should target their jobs policies on the most disadvantaged groups, and those with few or no skills, who risk loosing contact with the labor market."