Countries Repeat Vows to Keep Focus on Jobs Leaders of G-7 Nations Agree That Most New Employment Will Come from Companies Who Are Smaller and Willing to Take Risks

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THE Group of Seven (G-7) industrial nations ended an unprecedented two-day international jobs conference Tuesday by declaring that it has for the first time made unemployment a top item on its agenda.

The G-7 "is opening a brand new chapter by focusing on the one economic issue of most importance to the peoples of all the nations represented at this conference: how to create high-wage jobs," United States Vice President Al Gore Jr. told a press conference Tuesday.

Rather than just monitor the performance and management of its economies, the group has said it will discuss the structures of its economies as well, according to officials at the conference.

"This will be looked back upon, I am convinced, as one of the most important turning points in the post-war dialogue between the United States and the other industrialized nations," Mr. Gore said.

Finance, labor, and economics ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain, and the US stressed the need to accelerate the diffusion of technology and to train workers for high-tech jobs. More than 10 percent of the work force in Canada, France, Italy, and Britain is jobless.

But the G-7 member states did not agree on specific programs to reduce the ranks of unemployed workers. G-7 leaders say they will take up the issue in Naples, Italy, at their annual meeting in July.

The government officials rallied around one point: the high returns of sparking the growth of emerging enterprises. "It {is} clear that small and medium-sized companies need to be encouraged because of their potential for creating jobs," US Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen said in a statement summarizing the two-day conference. This sentiment was echoed by the other delegates.

"The great bulk of jobs are going to come from small and medium-sized companies involving the new technologies that have a tremendous capacity to create new employment," said Canadian Minister for Human Resources Lloyd Axworthy. …