The outlook for the global labour markets has gotten worse recently, according to a new ILO assessment. ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo: “To address this deeply concerning global employment situation will require comprehensive, integrated, and balanced policies nationally and globally”. In 2022, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that there would be a shortage of 40 million full-time employees due to the Ukraine crisis. The conflict in Ukraine has severely hurt the nation’s economy and labour market, according to the ILO.
According to the most recent ILO Monitor on the World of Work, different economic and political crises that overlap threaten the recovery of the global labour market, and unemployment and inequality seem to be getting worse. According to a new ILO assessment, the outlook for the global labour markets has gotten worse recently during the Ukraine crisis. Based on current patterns, job openings will fall, and international employment growth will weaken dramatically in the last quarter of 2022.
Real wages are declining in many nations as a result of rising inflation. This is on top of the big drops in income caused by the COVID-19 crisis, which hurt low-income groups in many countries more than other groups.
The 10th edition of the ILO Monitor on the World of Work concludes that deteriorating labour market circumstances impact both the quantity and quality of jobs available, noting that “there is already data showing a strong labour market downturn.” The disparity between developed and emerging countries is projected to widen due to growing labour market inequality.
Effects of the Ukraine Crisis
The Monitor claims that during 2022, “a collection of complex and overlapping crises have arisen that are significantly affecting the world of work.” These crises are made worse by the Ukraine war and its following detrimental spillover consequences. Food and energy inflation, falling real wages, rising inequality, dwindling policy alternatives, and increased debt in developing nations are all symptoms of the effects. As hiring decisions are affected by uncertainty and poor expectations, a slowdown in economic development and overall demand will also decrease the labour market.
ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo stated, “To address this deeply concerning global employment situation and prevent a substantial global labour market downturn will require comprehensive, integrated, and balanced policies nationally and globally.” “We need to put in place a wide range of policy tools, such as interventions in the prices of public goods, the rerouting of windfall profits, strengthening income security through social protection, increasing income support, and targeted measures to help the most vulnerable individuals and businesses,” the report states.
The UN Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection, which would assist nations in creating 400 million jobs and extending social protection to the four billion people who are currently unprotected, is one effort that needs significant support. And a swift conclusion to the Ukraine war, as advocated in the ILO Governing Body resolutions, will further help to improve the world’s employment situation.
Beginning in 2022, the number of hours worked worldwide rapidly increased, particularly among women and those in higher-skilled sectors. The 15-year trend towards formalisation was jeopardised due to an increase in informal employment. The situation worsened throughout the year, and according to ILO estimates, in the third quarter of 2022, the hours worked were 1.5% below pre-pandemic levels, translating to a shortage of 40 million full-time employees.
The war in Ukraine has severely hurt the nation’s economy and labour market, in addition to having a horrible humanitarian cost. The ILO predicts that employment in 2022 will be 15.5% (or 2.4 million jobs) lower than in 2021 before the conflict. This prediction is not as standard as the ILO’s prediction that 4.8 million jobs would be lost in April 2022, not long after the match started. The decrease in Ukrainian regions under occupation or experiencing active conflicts caused favourable change. However, the Monitor notes that this weak and fragmented labour market recovery.
The report cautions that the enormous number of internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees looking for work in Ukraine and elsewhere adds to the difficulties and is expected to lower salaries.
According to the research, 10.4% of the nation’s pre-war labour force is currently displaced abroad. Most of the 1.6 million members of this category are women, and many have prior experience in the fields of social care, health, and education. According to a recent survey, 28% of the Ukrainian refugees surveyed have found paid or self-employed workers in their host nations.
The conflict’s impacts are being felt in the labour markets of neighbouring countries, which could cause political and labour market instability in these nations. They are being seen further away in higher and more fluctuating pricing and an increase in food insecurity and poverty throughout Central Asia and around the world.
Managing several crises
The research urges that social discourse be used to develop the required measures to combat the contraction of the labour market. These should consider wider ramifications for jobs, businesses, and poverty rather than only reacting to inflation. The paper warns against overly restrictive policy measures that could “inflict unnecessary harm to jobs and earnings in both advanced and developing countries.”
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network