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Global Economic Growth Too Slow To Provide Jobs For All

By Agence France-Presse The global economy is not growing fast enough to provide jobs for millions of people who want them, according to a study released Dec. 2 by the Conference Board, a private business research group. World economic growth rates have slowed sharply since the 1960s, with growth rates falling not just in the United States but also in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, the survey found. Only East Asia and South Asia recorded stronger growth during the past decade than in the 1960s. "It is startling to think that what was viewed as the boom times of the 1990s was actually the slowest-growing decade in the world economy in the past 40 years," said Gail Fosler, chief economist of the group and author of the analysis. The current average annual economic growth rate of 2% to 3% in the global economy is not robust enough to absorb the emerging workforce, the study indicated. "There is simply not enough growth to go around," said Fosler. Global economic output is some $35 trillion, in roughly 200 countries, the report said. At current growth rates, tens of millions of people are going to remain unemployed, and the ones who get jobs are going to put increasing pressure on living standards in higher-income countries, the board said. Virtually all of the labor force growth is in emerging countries, especially in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. "Among the advanced countries," says Fosler, "only the United States has been able to maintain its labor force growth, although about one-half of the new labor force entrants in the U.S. are foreign-born. "The real question is how everyone can advance faster together," said Fosler. "Unfortunately, the issue of how to achieve higher sustainable world growth is still not being asked." Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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