In a revision of the projection made in June of 3.5 per cent or 100 million full-time jobs, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) warned that job recovery is stalled worldwide and disparities between advanced and developing economies threaten the whole global economy.
In its latest edition (eighth) of the ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work, the UN agency talked of “great divergence” between developed and developing countries, saying it will persist without concrete financial and technical support.
HOURS WORKED: A STALLED GLOBAL RECOVERY
In the monitor, the ILO projects the global hours worked this year to 4.3 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, equivalent of 125 million full time jobs. It mentioned that working hours in high- and upper-middle-income countries tended to recover in 2021, while both lower-middle and low-income countries continued to suffer large losses
PRODUCTIVITY AND ENTERPRISES
global labour productivity (output per working hour) grew in 2020 by more than twice and this fell down in 2021. the “productivity gap” between developing and advanced economies has grown. In 2020, the average worker in a high-income country produced 17.5 times more output per hour than the average worker in a low-income country. This gap has increased to 18.0 in 2021, the biggest difference since 2005.
STIMULUS, VACCINATION AND JOB RECOVERY
The ILO says that the fiscal stimulus gap in developing countries (particularly low-income countries) remains largely unaddressed. Noting that for every 14 persons fully vaccinated in the second quarter of 2021, one full-time equivalent job was added to the global labour market. This implies that the slow roll-out of vaccination in developing countries has been retarding labour market recovery, increasing the divergence between countries.
In low- and middle-income countries, fiscal constraints and slow vaccination progress are hindering recovery, compounded by additional downside risks including debt distress and global supply chain bottlenecks. Corrective action needs to start with radically strengthened international action and cooperation to help lower-income countries to increase their rates of vaccination to levels comparable to those in the higher-income countries.