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Will central banks furiously devalue their currencies to compete for exports and jobs?

*Financial Times, by Frances Williams, January 28, 2009

“Global crisis ‘could cost 50m jobs’

Global unemployment and poverty are set for a ‘dramatic increase’ in the coming year as the world economic crisis deepens, according to a new report.

Projections by the International Labour Organization, a UN agency, on global employment trends predict that on a worst-case scenario, recorded unemployment could rise by more than 50m from baseline 2007 levels to 230m or 7.1 per cent of the world’s labour force by the end of 2009.

In the same scenario the number of people in ‘working poverty,’ earning less than $2 a day, could rise to 1.4bn or 45 per cent of all workers, from 1.2bn in 2007.

This would leave as many people below the poverty line as there were in 1997, wiping out all the gains over the past decade and marking ‘a return to a situation in which more than half of the global labour force would be unemployed or counted as working poor.'”

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