Global Economic Crisis Costs 20 Million Jobs

October 20, 2008

This linked article reports that the U.N. is predicting that, by the end of next year, the economic crisis will result in 20 million people losing their jobs world-wide.  But what I found particularly interesting is the following excerpt:

It was alarming that global unemployment had stayed at the same levels despite the strong economic growth seen between 2002 and 2007, said Somavia (Director-General of the International Labour Organisation), who files (sp) to New York this week for talks with the heads of all U.N. agencies, chaired by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

I find this excerpt interesting because it is a frank admission that globalization has done nothing to create jobs globally.  It has merely shifted jobs from countries like the U.S. to the developing world.  The article goes on to say that global unemployment is expected to rise from 190 million people to 210 million, the first time in history that it will top 200 million.

But more than that, I find this quote interesting because it comes as no surprise to me at all.  It’s exactly what the theory I’ve advanced in Five Short Blasts predicts – that continued population growth beyond an optimum level inevitably yields rising unemployment and poverty.  When people are forced to crowd together, per capita consumption must decline due simply to a lack of space for using and storing products.  And it is impossible for per capita consumption to decline without a corresponding reduction in employment.  With the world’s population growing at a rate sufficient to populate a new medium-sized city every day, this process of crowding together and eroding employment is happening at an alarming rate.  These effects upon unemployment and poverty are absolutely inescapable, with one exception:  the effects can be reversed by stabilizing the population and then reducing it to an optimum, sustainable level.