The International Labor Organization (ILO) Monday said the most encouraging signs of economic recovery were noticeable in North America and Europe, while the most negative prospects were registered in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
ILO General Director Guy Ryder also warned Monday that the crisis stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic was far from over for the year 2022.
Globally, the labor market is still far from recovery, Ryder said. He added that, according to ILO projections, in 2022 there will be a loss of hours worked globally tantamount to 52 million full-time jobs, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, while the total hours worked will remain below 2% of pre-pandemic levels this year.
According to the Geneva-based ILO's last projections issued in late May 2021, this year would show a loss worth 26 million jobs.
The new ILO report World Employment and Social Issues: Trends 2022 released Monday also predicts unemployment is expected to reach 207 million in 2022, exceeding 2019 levels by around 21 million. The document also warns that the recovery will be slow and uncertain. Unemployment is expected to remain above pre-Covid-19 levels through at least 2023.
The downward revision of the forecasts for 2022 mainly reflects the impact on the world of work of recent variants of Covid-19, especially Omicron. Two years after the start of the crisis, the outlook remains fragile and the path to recovery is slow and uncertain, Ryder said.
We are already seeing potentially permanent damage to the labor market and a worrying rise in poverty and inequality, he added. Ryder also underlined the aggravation of various forms of inequality, such as those based on gender and access to digital technology.
The disproportionate impact of the crisis on female employment is likely to persist over the years, the report says. And the closure of education and training establishments will have long-term cascading consequences among young people, especially those without Internet access.