Global labor market recovery stalls in Q1-2022

Labor market recovery stalled in the first quarter of 2022 amid multiple interconnected global crises, as well as rising inequality, according to a new report from the International Labor Organization (ILO), released on Monday. .

“Multiple global crises are leading to a sharp deterioration in the recovery of the global labor market, with increasing inequalities between and within countries”observes the ILO in the 9th edition of its Observatory on the world of work.

According to the same source, after a significant increase in the last quarter of 2021, the number of hours worked worldwide fell in the first quarter of 2022, to 3.8% below the previous reference period. to the crisis (the fourth quarter of 2019). This is equivalent to a deficit of 112 million full-time jobs, underlines the same source.

This is a sharp downward revision to the figures published by the ILO in January 2022.

The proliferation of new and interrelated international crises, including inflation (particularly energy and food prices), financial turmoil, possible debt crisis and disruptions to global supply chains – exacerbated by the war in Ukraine – increases the risk that the number of hours worked will fall again in 2022, with wider repercussions on global labor markets in the months to come, the Organization notes.

According to the ILO Observatory, the recovery is very mixed, and the divergence is accentuated between the economies of rich countries and those of poor countries. While high-income countries saw a recovery in hours worked, low-income and lower-middle-income economies suffered setbacks in the first quarter of this year, with a gap of 3.6% and 5.7% respectively to the pre-crisis reference period. These divergent trends are likely to worsen in the second quarter of 2022.

In some developing countries, governments are increasingly constrained by lack of fiscal space and debt sustainability challenges, while businesses face economic and financial uncertainties and workers still do not have sufficient access to social protection, adds the same source.

And to add: More than two years after the start of the pandemic, many actors in the world of work are still suffering from its effects on the labor markets.

According to the ILO, labor income has not yet returned to its initial level for the majority of workers. In 2021, three out of five workers lived in countries where labor income had not recovered to the level observed in the fourth quarter of 2019.

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