In addition to being a health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic is also an employment crisis. Lockdowns and other measures adopted to curb the spread of the coronavirus have disrupted labour markets worldwide, leaving few workers unaffected. This report details the effects of the crisis on the world of work, examining global and regional trends in employment, unemployment, labour force participation and productivity, alongside such dimensions of job quality as employment status, informal employment and working poverty. It also offers an extensive analysis of the differential impact of the crisis on enterprises and workers.
The report provides forecasts of the post-pandemic employment recovery, which though predicted to be strong, will nonetheless be insufficient to close the gaps opened up by the crisis. Workers whose labour market situation was most disadvantageous before the crisis – women, young people, migrants, informal workers and those in lower-skilled occupations – have suffered disproportionately from the fallout of the crisis. In view of these pressing challenges, the report proposes a human-centred recovery strategy to prevent the “scarring” of global labour markets for years to come.