World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2022

The International Labour Organization (ILO) releases the World Employment and Social Outlook Trends. The report examines the impact of the crisis on the global and regional trends in employment, unemployment, and labour force participation, including informal employment, job quality, and working poverty.

ILO is a United Nations agency that advances social and economic justice by setting international labour standards. ILO is the first and oldest specialised agency of the United Nations (UN), established in October 1919 under the League of Nations and became a specialised agency of the UN in 1946. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.

In January 2022, the International Labour Organization released its report titled “World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2022”.

The report provides a comprehensive assessment of how the labour market recovery has unfolded worldwide, reflecting different countries measures to tackle the pandemic. It also offers an extensive analysis of trends in temporary employment both before and during the COVID-19 crisis.

It analyses the global patterns, regional differences and outcomes across economic sectors & groups of workers. It also shows the projections for expected labour market recovery.

Global Unemployment

  • As per the report, Global unemployment is projected to remain above the 2019 levels until at least 2023.
  • Global unemployment is expected to stand at 207 million in 2022, up from 186 million in 2019.
  • In 2022, the employment-to-population ratio is estimated to stand at 55.9%, which is 1.4% points below its 2019 level.

Global Working Hours

  • Based on the latest economic growth forecasts, ILO is projecting that Global Working Hours will remain almost 2% below their pre-pandemic level, which equates to the loss of 52 million full-time equivalent jobs.

Global Labour Force Participation

  • The global labour force participation has fallen by close to 2% points between 2019 and 2022. It is anticipated that in 2022, around 40 million people will no longer be participating in the global labour force.

Regional Differences

  • The impact of the pandemic has been quite severe for the developing countries that experienced higher levels of inequality, more divergent working conditions, and weaker social protection systems even before the pandemic.
  • The recovery patterns differ significantly across regions, countries and sectors. Since the start of recovery, the employment-growth trends in the low-and middle-income countries have remained significantly below those observed in the richer countries.
  • Many low-and middle-income countries have low access to vaccines and limited scope to expand government budgets to address the crisis.
  • Overall, key labour market indicators in all regions – Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Americas, Europe and Central Asia, the Arab States – have yet to return to the pre-pandemic levels.

Starkly Different Impacts

  • The report warns that there are wide disparities in the impact of the crisis on groups of workers and countries, deepening inequalities within and among nations while weakening the economic, financial, and social structure of almost every state, regardless of development status.
  • The damage is likely to require years to repair, with potential long-term consequences for household incomes, labour forces, and social & possibly political cohesion.

Different Sectors

  • Some sectors, such as travel and tourism, have been particularly hard hit, whereas other sectors related to information technology have thrived.

Impact on Women and Young Population

  • Women have been hit harder than men by the labour market crisis, and this trend may continue.
  • The closure of education and training institutions will have long-term implications for young people, especially those without internet access.

Expected Recovery

  • The recovery of labour demand to pre-crisis levels can be expected to take time, which will slow growth in employment and working hours.
  • Sustainable recovery is possible, but it must be based on the principles of decent work, including health and safety, equity, social protection, and social dialogue.
  • The new labour market forecast can be vital for policy-making in countries like India, where most jobs are informal, to avoid future employment losses and working hours reductions.

Leave a Comment