Global jobs recovery delayed by pandemic uncertainty: ILO

The ILO estimated that global unemployment is expected to reach 207 million in 2022, versus 186 million reported in 2019



Disruptions are set to continue into 2023 when there will still be around 27 million fewer jobs, according to the ILO.
Disruptions are set to continue into 2023 when there will still be around 27 million fewer jobs, according to the ILO.
by

Issac John

Published: Mon 17 Jan 2022, 6:33 PM

The International Labour Organisation has warned that job market recovery is set to slow in 2022 and will remain weak through 2023 due to uncertainty about Covid-19 pandemic’s course and duration.

The ILO estimated that global unemployment is expected to reach 207 million in 2022, versus 186 million reported in 2019. However, the impact would be significantly greater since many people have left the labour force and have yet to return.

In its 2022 World Employment and Social Outlook trends report published on Monday, the United Nations body forecast that the number of hours worked globally in 2022 would be 1.8 per cent lower than in the fourth quarter of 2019, just before the onset of the pandemic.

The report predicted that the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women’s employment would narrow in the coming years but that a “sizeable gap” would remain.

The UN agency estimates that there would be an even bigger deficit in working hours in 2022 than it previously estimated. It projected that the fall in global working hours this year would now be the equivalent of losing 52 million full-time jobs, nearly double the 26 million it previously forecast in May 2021.

Still, the projected deficit in working hours this year represents an improvement over the past two years. In 2021, the ILO estimates there were some 125 million fewer jobs than pre-pandemic levels and in 2020, 258 million fewer.

Disruptions are set to continue into 2023 when there will still be around 27 million fewer jobs, it said, warning of a “slow and uncertain” recovery.

The global labour market outlook has deteriorated since the ILO’s last projections; a return to pre-pandemic performance is likely to remain elusive for much of the world over the coming years, the report said.

Director-General Guy Ryder said there were numerous factors behind its revision, saying the “primary one is the continuing pandemic and its variants, notably Omicron.”

Ryder said that the far-reaching changes to economic and social behavior brought on by the Covid crisis had reduced the demand for, and the supply of, labour. He said that the ILO expected this trend to continue for “as long as the pandemic itself remains uncontrolled.”

The speed of recovery varies across regions, with the European and North American regions showing the most encouraging signs and Southeast Asia and South America lagging behind, according to the report.

— issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


More news from Business