“The global unemployment rate is projected to remain above its 2019 level until at least 2023. The total number of the unemployed is projected to decline by 7 million in 2022 to 207 million; in comparison, the 2019 figure was 186 million,” the report says.
The organization stresses that it has downgraded its forecast for the recovery of labor market in 2022. To some extent this reflects the consequences of the impact of the recent strains of COVID-19 such as “delta” and “omicron,” on the labor market, as well as uncertainty regarding further evolution of the pandemic.
Based on the latest economic growth projections, the ILO expects total hours worked in 2022 to remain nearly 2% below pre-pandemic levels. Last June, the ILO predicted that this figure would decrease to less than 1% in 2022.
According to experts, the crisis caused by the pandemic has affected various groups of workers and countries differently, which deepens inequalities within and between countries and weakens the economic, financial and social foundation of almost all states.
“The pandemic’s impact has been particularly devastating for developing nations that have higher levels of inequality, more heterogeneous working conditions, weaker social protection systems and constricted fiscal space, the report says.
Countries with high per capita incomes show a stronger recovery in the labor market, while the situation in the countries with lower middle incomes is worse. Experts see the most encouraging signs of recovery in Europe and North America. They are less optimistic about the employment situation in Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. In general, for all regions of the planet, the prospect of a full recovery of the labor market in 2023 to pre-pandemic levels is regarded as unrealistic. The crisis has hit women’s employment harder than men’s, and its effects will be felt over the coming years, says the ILO. In turn, the closure of educational and training institutions will have a growing long-term impact on young people.
“During the second half of 2021, what had been a modest and uneven global labor market recovery lost momentum. In consequence, as the COVID-19 pandemic enters its third calendar year, the global employment and social outlook remains uncertain and fragile,” Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General, says. He stressed that there cannot be real recovery of the global economy without improvement of the situation on the labor market.
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