Unemployment and the Pandemic

Unemployment and the Pandemic

#GS-03 Economic Development

For Prelims:

Reports of International Labour Organisation (ILO):

  • Global Wage Report 2022-2023: The Impact of inflation and COVID-19 on wages and purchasing power’.
  • This discusses the twin crises, inflation and economic slowdown, which created a “striking fall” in real monthly wages around the globe.
  • Asia-Pacific Employment and Social Outlook 2022: Rethinking sectoral strategies for a human-centred future of work’.
  • This report has stated that the Asia-Pacific region lost about 22 million jobs in 2022.

What is ‘Wage’?

  •  “Wage”, was defined as the total gross remuneration including regular bonuses received by employees during a specified period for time (monthly for the report) worked as well as for time not worked, such as paid annual leave and paid sick leave.

Nominal Wage vs Real Wage:

  • The nominal wage data shows the adjusted figures after accounting for consumer price inflation while real wage growth refers to the year-on-year change in real average monthly wages of all employees.

For Mains

What does the reports show?

  • In India, the nominal wages rose to ₹17,017 per month in 2021 from ₹4,398 in 2006.
  • The real wage growth in India plunged to -0.2% in 2021 from 9.3% in 2006.
  • The negative growth in India started after the pandemic.
  • In China, the growth decreased from 5.6% in 2019 to 2% in 2022.
  • In Pakistan, the growth is –3.8%.

Employment and Inequality

  • At the Asia-Pacific level, only the jobs in high-skill occupations saw a recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
  • While there is an employment gain of 1.6% among high-skill workers between 2019 and 2021, there is no such substantial gain among low-to-medium-skill workers.
  • Among the G-20 countries, the report noted a significant gap in the average level of real wages between advanced G-20 countries and emerging G-20 countries such as India.

Source “The lingering crisis of labour post-pandemic