Global job markets rebound from Covid-19 pandemic is now at risk

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has plunged the global employment market back into uncertainty, potentially ending a surprisingly strong rebound from the pandemic, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Since the worst point of Covid-19, the 38 developed economies in the organisation have created about 66 million jobs — 9 million more than those destroyed at the onset of the pandemic.

But there’s now high uncertainty with weaker business investment and household spending.

“Lower global growth means employment growth is also likely to slow, while major hikes in energy and commodity prices are generating a cost-of-living crisis,” the OECD said in its annual employment report.

Real wage growth was already under pressure at the end of 2021 and is set to continue to decline further in many countries as inflation intensified in 2022, the OECD said. It also warned of persistent differences that mean some groups of workers may again fall behind.

“If not cushioned, the inflation shock could be particularly severe for the most disadvantaged who were already badly hit by the Covid-19 crisis,” the OECD said.

“The sharp rise in energy and food prices is a cost that risks falling disproportionately on the most vulnerable.”