The ILO warns that global employment abandons the recovery threatened by several crises

From the recovery of jobs to a reduction due to various international “threats”. This is the scenario at the beginning of 2022 in the global labor market that the International Labor Organization (ILO) has portrayed this Monday. The international organization warns that "the recovery of the labor market reverses its favorable trend" due to the situation in low- and lower-middle income countries, with the reduction of working hours in the first quarter of the year, to a level 3.8% below the pre-pandemic reference level, the one that existed before the crisis (fourth quarter of 2019). "This is comparable to a deficit of 112 million full-time jobs," says the ILO.

The ILO warns that the pandemic threatens progress in equality in the world of work

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The data comes from the ninth edition of the ILO World of Work Observatory, which the organization published this Monday. The international organization warns that "the effects of various international crises have a very adverse effect on the recovery of the labor market on a global scale" and that they have also "provoked an increase in inequality between and within countries."

Among the "new international crises" on which the ILO focuses, those caused by inflation (especially with regard to energy and food prices), financial instability, possible difficulties due to indebtedness and the global supply chain disruption, “exacerbated by the war in Ukraine”.

worsening in the coming months

All this, explains the ILO, “have increased the risk that the number of working hours in 2022 will continue to be adversely affected, and that this will have a greater impact on labor markets worldwide over the coming months. ”.

The data from the beginning of the year, of a loss of 3.8% of hours worked in the world, significantly worsens the latest estimates for the first quarter of 2022 of the agency. These pointed to a deficit of 2.4% in hours worked, the equivalent of 70 million full-time jobs, recalls the Europa Press agency.

In this sense, the organization anticipates that the level of hours worked worldwide will decrease even more in the second quarter of 2022 as a result of the situation in China and the war in Ukraine. The latest ILO projection for the second quarter of 2022 points to the level of hours worked being 4.2% below the pre-pandemic level, which is equivalent to a deficit of 123 million full-time jobs complete, adds the agency.

The ILO highlights that the gender gap in the number of working hours "widened as a result of the pandemic", where the most affected have been "women with informal employment".

Inequality on the rise

The latest ILO report also highlights that the evolution of the global labor market continues to be determined by a great disparity, which the organization warns is "increasing, between the richest and poorest economies".

In high-income countries, there was a recovery in the number of working hours in this first quarter, but in low- and lower-middle-income economies "there was a setback in this respect in the first quarter of the year," underlines the ILO, with a gap of 3.6% and 5.7%, respectively, compared to their situation of working hours prior to the pandemic.

The organization regrets that "this disparity can be expected to continue to increase in the second quarter of 2022." The organization projects an improvement in rich countries, where the deficit of hours worked will be reduced to 1.5%, while in low-income countries it will stagnate at 3.6%, in medium-high income countries it will worsen by 3.5% and in those with medium-low incomes the negative imbalance will increase to 6%, reports Europa Press.

In certain developing countries, governments are “increasingly constrained by fiscal space constraints and debt sustainability challenges”, while companies face economic and financial uncertainties and Workers still do not have sufficient access to social protection, the organization points out.

“The effects on workers and their families, particularly in developing countries, are going to be devastating and could have very adverse social and political repercussions,” said Guy Ryder, the ILO Director-General. “Today it is more necessary than ever that we collaborate and emphasize promoting a people-centered recovery,” he recommended.

The report lists a set of recommendations, such as "the provision of timely and effective support to maintain the purchasing power of income from work" of citizens, the need to promote tripartite dialogue "to promote adequate and fair salary adjustments" and "the appropriate adjustment of macroeconomic policies, in order to address the difficulties related to inflation and debt sustainability," among others.

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