Multiple global crises are causing a marked deterioration in the global labour market recovery, said a new report from the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The 9th edition of the ILO Monitor on the World of Work published Monday (23 May), found that after significant gains during the last quarter of 2021, the number of hours worked globally dropped in the first quarter of 2022, to 3.8% below the pre-crisis benchmark (fourth quarter of 2019).
This is equivalent to a deficit of 112 million full-time jobs with increasing inequalities within and between countries, reads a press release.
The decline represents a significant downgrading of figures published by the ILO in January 2022.
Multiple new and interconnected global crises, including inflation (especially in energy and food prices), financial turbulence, potential debt distress, and global supply chain disruption – exacerbated by war in Ukraine – means there is a growing risk of a further deterioration in hours worked in 2022, as well as a broader impact on global labour markets in the months to come.
The report also finds that a great and growing divergence between richer and poorer economies continues to characterise the recovery.
Driven by disruptions in production and trade exacerbated by the Ukraine crisis, the increase in food and commodity prices is badly hurting poor households and small businesses, especially those in the informal economy.
"The global labour market recovery has gone into reverse. An uneven and fragile recovery has been made more uncertain by a self-reinforcing combination of crises. The impact on workers and their families, especially in the developing world, will be devastating and could translate into social and political dislocation," said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.
"It is now more essential than ever that we work together and focus on creating a human-centred recovery."
The report spells out a series of measures as a way forward including timely and effective support to maintain the purchasing power of labour income and the overall living standards of workers and their families and urgent tripartite dialogue to support appropriate and fair wage adjustments including to minimum wages, strengthening of social protection systems and income support, and the provision of food security measures where necessary.