GS Paper - 3 (Economy)

The International Labour Organisation has projected global unemployment at 207 million in 2022, almost 21 million more than 2019 while the total hours worked in 2022 to be almost 2% below their pre-pandemic level or a deficit of 52 million full-time equivalent jobs.


  1. This outlook represents a substantial deterioration since the projections made in June 2021 when the shortfall in working hours relative to the fourth quarter of 2019 was projected to narrow to less than 1% in 2022, the ILO said in its latest report on World Employment and Social Outlook, released on 17 January 2022.
  2. Every new outbreak brings setbacks. Many gains in decent work made before the pandemic have been significantly impacted upon, and pre-existing decent work deficits are dampening the prospects of a sustainable recovery in many regions.
  3. According to the ILO, since the onset of the recovery, employment growth trends in low- and middle-income countries have remained significantly below those observed in richer economies, owing largely to the lower vaccination rates and tighter fiscal space in developing countries.
  4. The impact has been particularly serious for developing nations that experienced higher levels of inequality, more divergent working conditions and weaker social protection systems even before the pandemic.
  5. For all regions, projections to 2023 suggest that a full recovery will remain elusive. All regions face severe downside risks to their labour market recovery that stem from the ongoing impact of the pandemic.
  6. The pandemic is structurally altering the labour markets in such ways that a return to pre-crisis baselines may well be insufficient to make up for the damage caused by the pandemic.