Global Jobless Rate Could Hit Record High

The International Labor Organization is forecasting that 202 million people will be out of work around this world this year. Meanwhile, Japan's central bank announced an ambitious monetary policy.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR business news starts with global unemployment figures.

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INSKEEP: We usually focus on American unemployment, which has been going down. But world unemployment may hit record levels this year, according to an annual report by the International Labor Organization, which is forecasting that up to 202 million people who won't work will be out of work around this world this year.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Those numbers beat out 2009, which have been the worst year for an employment so far. The report notes that while the jobless crisis started in the developed world, three quarters of the newly unemployed are coming from developing nations, mainly in East Asia, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

INSKEEP: Let's move now to Japan, where that country's central bank has announced a new and ambitious monetary policy. It has set a goal of inflation. It wants inflation, two percent inflation, following years of ongoing deflation.

GREENE: The Bank of Japan will follow a plan similar to the U.S. Federal Reserve, increasing its purchases of government bonds and other financial assets to help stimulate inflation and economic growth.

INSKEEP: Economic growth, that's the important part there. But critics note that Japan already has a one percent inflation goal that it is not meeting, and has rising debts valued at more than twice its gross domestic product.

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