G20 Leaders' Summit

Great divergence’ threatens economic and employment recovery

In remarks to a G20 Leaders’ Summit meeting on the global economy and health, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder warned of growing inequalities due to differences in fiscal stimulus and vaccination programmes.

Declaración | 30 de octubre de 2021
G20 Leaders, Prime Minister.

The pandemic continues to have tremendous impacts on employment across the globe.

Our latest estimates show that at a global level, labour market recovery from the pandemic has stalled in 2021. The number of hours worked in the world remains significantly below its pre-pandemic level, by a margin of the equivalent of 125 million full-time jobs, and is now flat-lining. The equivalent loss for the G20 amounts to 70.5 million full-time jobs in the third quarter of 2021.

The damage has been unequal. Employment has declined more for women, youth and medium- and low-skilled workers, with major differences also across sectors.

Prospects for labour market recovery remain uneven and uncertain in the face of supply chain disruptions, energy price spikes, inflation worries and debt distress.

Recovery depends very much on each countries’ capacities to administer the right fiscal stimulus, and on the availability of vaccines.

While in advanced economies recovery continued in 2021, in most emerging market and developing economies progress in economic and employment recovery suffered a setback. This is the “great divergence” in the paths of higher and lower income countries.

This divergence has been significantly exacerbated by differences in the availability of financial resources for fiscal stimulus, and by the level of vaccinations.

The ILO’s figures show that on average for every 14 persons fully vaccinated, the equivalent of one full-time job has been added to the global labour market.

So as the world looks to the G20 to intensify its efforts, we do need global solutions to the global challenges we face, and we need to include working people and labour markets in that response.

For its part, the ILO adopted in June a Global Call to Action for a human-centred recovery, proposing a series of measures that invest in people, their skills, their health, their social protection and that leaves no one behind.

All of this to foster a recovery that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient – very much in line with the objectives of this G20.

Thank you Prime Minister.