Covid-19—Pandemics and the labor market
We are facing unprecedented times as the coronavirus—or “Covid-19,” the disease associated with the virus—pandemic sweeps the globe. In the short term this means extreme disruption for citizens and labor markets as countries impose travel restrictions and nationwide lockdowns to slow the spread of the virus and prevent it from overwhelming health services. Governments are having to find extraordinary ways to protect workers and their economies from financial hardship and potential collapse. Recession would appear to be inevitable. Citizens themselves are also experiencing exceptional limits on their movements, which could have overwhelming effects on their health and well-being. But the full effects of the crisis are as yet unknown and may take many years of analysis before they are fully understood.
IZA Discussion Papers:
IZA publishes a series of Discussion Papers on Covid-19. Here is a selection of the latest:
- Inequality in Internet Access in India: Implications for Learning during COVID, by Sandip Datta, Geeta G. Kingdon
- Digital Divide or Digital Provide? Technology, Time Use and Learning Loss during COVID-19, by Niaz Asadullah, Anindita Bhattacharjee
- Corporate Training and Skill Gaps: Did COVID-19 Stem EU Convergence in Training Investments? by Konstantinos Pouliakas, Patricia Wruuck
- Perceived Returns to Job Search, by Abigail Adams-Prassl, Teodora Boneva, Marta Golin, Christopher Rauh
- Hiding the Elephant: The Tragedy of COVID Policy and Its Economist Apologists, Gigi Foster, Paul Frijters
Visit IZA's COVID-19 and the Labor Market site for further content on the pandemic.
See National responses to Covid-19 for a compilation of content looking at the effects of the pandemic on individual countries or cities.
IZA World of Labor content:
Is the youth labor market bearing the brunt of the pandemic?Francesco Pastore, January 2023The Covid-19 pandemic has produced unprecedented negative effects on the global economy, affecting both the demand and supply side. Its consequences in terms of job losses have been important in many European countries. A large number of firms have been forced to dismiss at least part of their workforce or to close down all together. Considering that young people are usually penalized more than their adult counterparts during economic crises due to the so-called “last-in-first-out” principle, it is worthwhile to evaluate if the youth will also end up paying the highest price during this pandemic-induced recession.MoreLess
Covid-19 ended 20 years of stability and good labor market performance, aided in part by a strong resource boomW. Craig Riddell, November 2022From 2000 to 2019, Canada's economy and labor market performed well. Important in this success was a strong resource boom from the late 1990s to 2014. After the boom the economy and labor market adjusted relatively smoothly, with labor and other resources exiting resource-rich regions and moving elsewhere. Strong growth in major export markets (Asia and the US) aided the adjustment. The Covid-19 downturn resulted in an unprecedented decline in employment, and a steep rise in unemployment and non-participation. Despite the severity of the Covid-19 shock, by December 2021 most key measures of labor market activity had returned to pre-pandemic levels.MoreLess
Which leadership techniques and tools should digital leaders use to communicate effectively with remote teams and gig workers?Petra Nieken, September 2022Remote work and digital collaborations are prevalent in the business world and many employees use digital communication tools routinely in their jobs. Communication shifts from face-to-face meetings to asynchronous formats using text, audio, or video messages. This shift leads to a reduction of information and signals leaders can send and receive. Do classical leadership and communication techniques such as transformational or charismatic leadership signaling still work in those online settings or do leaders have to rely on transactional leadership techniques such as contingent reward and punishment tools in the remote setting?MoreLess
- Migration and ethnicity
- Labor markets and institutions
- Education and human capital
- Country labor markets
Employment has grown steadily, unemployment is low, and the gender gap and skill premiums have fallenDavid C. Maré, August 2022New Zealand is a small open economy, with large international labor flows and skilled immigrants. After the global financial crisis (GFC) employment took four years to recover, while unemployment took more than a decade to return to pre-crisis levels. Māori, Pasifika, and young workers were worst affected. The Covid-19 pandemic saw employment decline and unemployment rise but this was reversed within a few quarters. However, the long-term impact of the pandemic remains uncertain.MoreLess
Job loss from Covid-19 was greater among immigrants than the native-born in most developed countriesHugh Cassidy, February 2022The labor market disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns impacted immigrant workers more severely than native-born workers in the US, Canada, Australia, and most EU countries. Immigrant workers in most of these countries were more vulnerable to the pandemic since they were more likely to be employed in jobs that are not as easy to perform remotely. The labor market recovery for both groups in the US was rapid, and by Fall 2020, the employment gaps between immigrant and native-born workers, both for men and women, had returned to pre-pandemic levels.MoreLess
The workforce is now much better educated, but crises have magnified unemployment, underemployment, and low-income workPhilippe Askenazy, February 2022France 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.MoreLess