Burdened by rising joblessness, US President Bill Clinton wants world leaders to meet to find a solution to the vexing problem
WITH US unemployment remaining steady at an unhappy 7 per cent, the only consolation that President Bill Clinton had to offer Americans is that the Japanese are finally experiencing the same problem.
In an effort to counter the joblessness that is troubling the world's largest economies, Clinton proposed a global ministerial meeting as the "first step to getting all our job generators running at full speed again".
In the run-up to the recent G-7 summit meeting in Tokyo, Clinton assured the leaders of other nations he is determined to find ways to translate global economic growth into more jobs throughout the world. He stressed employment is affected by global competition.
The US labour department reports only 13,000 new jobs were created in June, against expectations of 125,000, and a payroll growth of 215,000 in May. Manufacturing jobs fell by 53,000 in June, the fourth consecutive month of decline.
Department officials noted that with military spending declining annually by 6 per cent, June's layoffs were mainly in the aircraft, electronics and instrumentation sectors. Unemployment in California, whose economy is largely dependent on military contracting, rose from 8.7 per cent to 9.1 per cent.
The only increase noted in employment was in the service sector, which added 56,000 workers in June mainly in health and education. But, labour consultant Audrey Freedman warned many of the new jobs were on the assembly lines, which means they were either insecure or temporary.
Reinforcing fears of continuing unemployment was an announcement by ailing computer giant, International Business Machines Corp (IBM), that it expects to slash its work force by about 50,000 this year. The impending retrenchment, double the total announced previously, would shrink IBM's worldwide work force to about 250,000, from a peak of 405,000 in 1985.
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