Published at ILO, 23 February 2009
GENEVA (ILO News) – More than 100 senior representatives of governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations, gather here on 24-25 February to discuss the impact of the economic crisis on the more than 20 million people employed in the financial sector worldwide.
A new ILO report prepared for the meeting says jobs in financial services around the world have been strongly affected, with announced layoffs exceeding 325,000 between August 2007 and 12 February 2009.
With close to 40 per cent of the above losses, or 130,000 lost jobs, announced from October 2008 to 12 February 2009, the report also sees a rapid acceleration in financial services job cuts over recent months.
“These figures almost certainly understate the real situation in a sector which has been at the epicentre of the financial and economic crisis”, said Elizabeth Tinoco, Chief of the ILO’s Sectoral Activities Branch. “As the global economy sinks further into recession, and financial institutions’ assets experience even greater impairment, the industry’s job losses can be expected to rise even faster.”
The report defines the financial sector as being comprised of employees in the banking industry (retail banking and wholesale banking acting on national, regional or global financial markets); the insurance industry and re-insurance; and other financial intermediaries (e.g. hedge funds, mutual funds, wealth management firms, insurance agents and financial advisors, etc.).