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National responses to Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to have lasting economic and social impacts on employment, income, and working conditions in labor markets around the world. 

IZA has therefore invited a number of experts to monitor individual countries' crisis responses on their Crisis Response Monitoring site. The initial summary report Short-Run Labor Market Impacts of COVID-19, Initial Policy Measures and Beyond is available to download in PDF format and individual country reports are available online here: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, US.

IZA World of Labor Editor-in-Chief Daniel S. Hamermesh is also conducting a series of interviews with economists from around the world about their countries'/regions' responses to the pandemic. Links to the videos of these interviews can be found below alongside a selection of our Covid-19 opinion pieces.

For more Covid-19 content see our page Covid-19: Pandemics and the labor market

IZA Discussion Papers:
IZA publishes a series of Discussion Papers on Covid-19. Here is a selection of the latest:

  • The transformations of the French labor market, 2000–2021 Updated

    The transformations of the French labor market, 2000–2021

    Philippe Askenazy, February 2022
    France has the second largest population of countries in the EU. Since 2000, the French labor market has undergone substantial changes resulting from striking trends, some of which were catalyzed by the Great Recession and the Covid-19 crisis. The most interesting of these changes have been the massive improvement in the education of the labor force (especially of women), the resilience of employment during recessions, and the dramatic emergence of very-short-term employment contracts (less than a week) and low-income independent contractors, which together have fueled earnings inequality.
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  • The Danish labor market, 2000–2020 Updated

    Flexicurity has proven resilient to large shocks, but low skills and employment rates are challenges, especially among youths

    Torben M. Andersen, November 2021
    Denmark is often termed a “flexicurity” country with lax employment protection legislation, generous unemployment insurance, and active labor market policies. This model is not a safeguard against business cycles, but has coped with the Great Recession and the Covid-19 pandemic, avoiding large increases in long-term and structural unemployment. The pandemic has had severe effects due to restrictions and lockdowns, but the recovery and re-openings in late 2020 and spring 2021 have been strong, indicating that the labor market effects are mainly temporary. Recent reforms have boosted labor supply and employment. Real wage growth has been positive and responded—with some lag—to the developments in unemployment.
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  • The labor market in the US, 2000–2020 Updated

    Covid-19 ended the longest US economic expansion, pushing unemployment to its highest level with a slow and incomplete recovery

    Daniel S. Hamermesh, October 2021
    As the largest economy in the world, the US labor market is crucial to the economic well-being of citizens worldwide as well as, of course, that of its own citizens. Since 2000 the US labor market has undergone substantial changes, reflecting the Great Recession and the Covid Recession, but also resulting from some striking trends. Most interesting have been a remarkable drop in the labor force participation rate, reversing a nearly 50-year trend; the full recovery of unemployment after 2010 and its skyrocketing in 2020; and the little-known continuing growth in post-inflation average earnings.
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