Global labour recovery has reversed with the number of working hours globally falling in the first quarter of 2022 to 3.8 per cent below the pre-crisis benchmark (fourth quarter of 2019), which is equivalent to a deficit of 112 million full-time jobs.
The figures is drawn in the new report from the International Labour Organisation. The 9th edition of the ILO Monitor on the World of Work points out that multiple global crises are causing a marked deterioration in the global labour market recovery, with increasing inequalities within and between countries.
The ILO report said that multiple new and interconnected global crises, including inflation (especially in energy and food prices), financial turbulence, potential debt distress, and global supply chain disruption – exacerbated by war in Ukraine – will lead to a growing risk of further deterioration in hours worked in 2022, as well as a broader impact on global labour markets in the months to come.
In the report, the ILO also talks of growing difference between the rich and poor economies. While high-income countries experienced a recovery in hours worked, low-and lower-middle-income economies suffered setbacks in the first quarter of the year with a 3.6 and 5.7 per cent gap respectively when compared to the pre-crisis benchmark. These diverging trends are likely to worsen in the second quarter of 2022, the ILO said.
SOME KEY FINDINGS
- The sharp rise in job vacancies in advanced economies at the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022 led to a tightening of labour markets with a growing number of jobs available relative to job seekers. But overall, there is no strong evidence that labour markets are generally overheated, given the considerable pool of unemployed and underutilized labour in many countries.
- Timely and effective support to maintain the purchasing power of labour income and the overall living standards of workers and their families
- Urgent tripartite dialogue to support appropriate and fair wage adjustments including to minimum wages, strengthening of social protection systems and income support, and the provision of food security measures where necessary
- Careful adjustment of macroeconomic policies so that they address pressures related to inflation and debt sustainability while supporting a job-rich and inclusive recovery
- Assistance for hard-hit groups and sectors, particularly vulnerable workers and those making the transition from the informal to the formal economy
- Long-term, well-designed sectoral policies that promote the creation of decent and green jobs support sustainability and inclusiveness, and assist enterprises especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)