Labour, Jobs and Employment – Harmonization of labour laws, gender gap, unemployment, etc.

World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends, 2022


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Unemployment since the pandemic

Global unemployment is projected to stand at 207 million in 2022 (21 million more than in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic began) says ILO World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2022.

World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2022

  • The report examines the impacts of the crisis on global and regional trends in employment, unemployment and labour force participation, as well as on job quality, informal employment and working poverty.
  • It also offers an extensive analysis of trends in temporary employment both before and during the COVID-19 crisis.

Key highlights

(1) Job Losses in 2022

  • It is estimated that in 2022 around 40 million people will no longer be participating in the global labour force.
  • The downgrade in the 2022 forecast reflects the impact of ever new variants of COVID-19 on the world of work.
  • Global working hours in 2022 will be almost two per cent below their pre-pandemic level.
  • This is equivalent to the loss of 52 million full-time jobs.

(2) Pauperization

  • The pandemic has pushed millions of children into poverty.
  • It is estimated that in 2020, an additional 30 million adults fell into extreme poverty (living on less than $1.90 per day in purchasing power parity) while being out of paid work.
  • The number of extreme working poor — workers who do not earn enough through their work to keep themselves and their families above the poverty line — rose by eight million.

(3) Impact on women

  • Women have been worse hit by the labour market crisis than men and this is likely to continue.
  • The closing of education and training institutions will have long-term implications for young people, particularly those without internet access.

Key suggestions

  • There is the need for a broad-based labour market recovery — the recovery must be human-centred, inclusive, sustainable and resilient.
  • The recovery must be based on the principles of decent work — including health and safety, equity, social protection and social dialogue.

Back2Basics: International Labour Organization (ILO)

  • The ILO is a UN agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice through setting international labour standards.
  • Founded in 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the first and oldest specialised agency of the UN.
  • The ILO has 187 member states: 186 out of 193 UN member states plus the Cook Islands.
  • The ILO’s international labour standards are broadly aimed at ensuring accessible, productive, and sustainable work worldwide in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity.

Its Governing Body

  • The Governing body is the apex executive body of the ILO which decides policies, programmes, agenda, budget and elects the Director-General.
  • It meets three times a year, in March, June and November.

Major reports released:

  1. World Employment and Social Outlook
  2. World Social Protection Report
  3. Global Wage Report


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