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India’s unemployment rate is declining; Thousands of UK workers are taking part in a four-day week trial

India’s unemployment rate is declining; Thousands of UK workers are taking part in a four-day week trial

Today’s global news summary brings news affecting India, the UK, and the world, and discusses issues as diverse as unemployment, four-day week trials, and climate change. 
 


India’s unemployment rate is declining
Demography, family, and gender
According to data from The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the unemployment rate in India is decreasing and the economy is gradually returning back to normal. Times of India reports that the unemployment rate in the country decreased from 8.10% in February to 7.6% in March. Nevertheless, Abhirup Sarkar, a retired professor of economics at the Indian Statistical Institute, believes that the “unemployment rate is high for India which is a poor country.” According to him, the economy is showing signs of getting back on track after suffering the consequences of two years of the Covid-19 pandemic but “poor people, particularly in rural areas, cannot afford to remain unemployed, for which they are taking up any job […].”

IZA World of Labor author Francis Green has looked at the health effects of job insecurity, and in particular, how the fear of unemployment has increased around the world throughout the pandemic. In his article, Green notes that the fear of unemployment can adversely affect health. It is important to understand “whether, and to what extent, job insecurity is in itself a significant cause of poor physical or mental health,” he says.

Related content
IZA World of Labor articles
Health effects of job insecurity

Key topics
Covid-19—Pandemics and the labor market
National responses to Covid-19

Opinions
Digital payments surged during Covid-19 in the developing world. What are the opportunities for workers?

Thousands of UK workers are taking part in a four-day week trial
Data and methods
As reported by The Guardian, over 60 companies and more than 3,000 workers across the UK are trialling a four-day working week. The pilot-scheme, which is the biggest yet in the world, will take place from June to December, and will include a wide range of businesses as well as charities. The trial is prompted by a push for companies to improve working conditions which would involve a shorter working week, encourage higher productivity, and, crucially, there wouldn’t be sacrifices in pay. One of the organizations participating in the trial is the Royal Society of Biology. Their Chief Executive, Mark Downs, said that they decided to participate as a response to an “incredibly competitive” labor market. “These sorts of possibilities make a massive difference. It’s great for everybody,” he added.

In his most recent opinion piece, Editor-in-Chief Daniel S. Hamermesh concludes that: “workers and employers have learned about the gains to working on fewer days, and it’s likely that the pandemic has caused a permanent shift to more four-day work schedules.”

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IZA World of Labor articles
The importance and challenges of measuring work hours

Opinions
Cutting back on work during Covid: How was it done?

Emissions must be curbed by 2030 worldwide
Environment
The BBC reports that the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published a “guidance on what the world can do to avoid an extremely dangerous future.” The findings also show that even if the policies currently in place to cut carbon are kept by all governments, this century the world will still warm by over three degrees Celsius. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres predicts "unprecedented heatwaves, terrifying storms, and widespread water shortages." In order to avoid these consequences, researchers recommend that the world must keep the rise in temperatures at or under 1.5 Celsius this century but doing so requires big changes to “energy production, industry, transport, our consumption patterns and the way we treat nature.”

IZA World of Labor author Marie Connolly has consulted the evidence and has found that in the event of unprecedented heat, “the burden will fall disproportionately on workers in industries more exposed to heat and those who live in warmer regions, with the potential to increase existing patterns of inequalities.” In her article she also mentions that “this is likely to trigger an adaptation, the scope and mechanisms of which are hard to predict, and will undoubtedly entail costs.”

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IZA World of Labor articles
Environmental regulations and business decisions
Climate change and the allocation of time
Impacts of regulation on eco-innovation and job creation

Key topics
Environmental regulation and the labor market

Opinions
Environmental regulations and business decisions

IZA Discussion Papers
Population Growth and Carbon Emissions