The global economic slump isn't over until job growth returns, the head of the International Monetary Fund warned Monday.
The IMF says the number of unemployed worldwide has increased by more than 30 million during the crisis to about 210 million people.
"There won't be any end of the crisis before unemployment significantly decreases," IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said. "So the idea that the crisis is already behind us is certainly the wrong idea."
He was speaking at a joint conference by the IMF and the International Labor Organization, which is the U.N.'s labor agency, on how to tackle the sharp rise in unemployment in the wake of the financial crisis.
Strauss-Kahn said it's important that the two organizations work together "on policies promoting job creation."
ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said job creation should be a key objective along with low inflation and budget discipline.
"We need to steer globalization in the right direction," Somavia said in a statement after the event. "For that we need coherence and balance across policies, as well as coordination and dialogue among institutions and nations. This conference has marked an important step in that direction."
The roughly 130 delegates at the conference included Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Rodriquez Zapatero. Both countries are struggling with troubled finances and high unemployment.
Papandreou urged banks to get over their unwillingness to lend following the financial crisis.
"We need to see banks getting out of the fear that has gripped them and many, many parts of our societies during this crisis," Papandreou said. "We feel this in Greece, but it is not only a Greek problem. I think it is around the world, the banks are still somewhat reticent."