Responding to a crisis: Rewriting labour market resilience amid COVID-19

The seismic shockwaves of the COVID-19 pandemic reverberated through the global economy, impacting the livelihoods of millions and prompting governments worldwide to reassess their strategies for labour market resilience. With 80% of the global workforce, totalling 3.3 billion individuals, affected in some capacity by the pandemic, urgent action was imperative. This report outlined a comprehensive framework for policymakers to navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by the crisis, emphasizing short-term defence, medium-term recovery, and long-term transformation of labour markets.

In the immediate aftermath of the pandemic, policies focused on minimising socioeconomic damage and stabilising labour markets. The rapid acceleration of digital disruption, epitomized by the widespread shift to remote work, demanded attention. Rebuilding and transforming economies necessitated strategies that addressed the consequences of this digital upheaval.

The crisis exposed the vulnerabilities of polarised labour markets and exacerbated structural inequalities, further weakening resilience. Governments faced the dual challenge of addressing widening inequalities within the labour market and broader society. Inclusivity and job quality were central to recovery efforts, ensuring that the benefits of economic resurgence were shared equitably across society.

Amidst the recovery, embracing sustainability and green transitions was paramount. Such initiatives offered a triple objective: reducing environmental footprints, enhancing competitiveness in a changing economic landscape, and seizing new opportunities arising from the green transition. By prioritising sustainability, governments could mitigate the impact of the climate crisis on employment while positioning their economies for long-term resilience and growth.

As nations grappled with the multifaceted challenges posed by the pandemic, a holistic approach to labour market resilience was essential. By embracing digitalisation, promoting inclusivity, and prioritising sustainability, policymakers laid the groundwork for a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable future. This report served as a roadmap for navigating the complexities of labour market recovery and transformation during COVID-19, guiding policymakers toward policies that safeguarded livelihoods, fostered economic growth, and promoted societal well-being.

As the world emerged from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the imperative to strengthen labour market resilience had never been more pressing. By heeding the lessons learned from this unprecedented crisis and adopting a proactive approach to policy formulation, governments paved the way for a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable future. The insights and recommendations presented in the report serve as a guiding beacon for policymakers navigating the complexities of labour market recovery and transformation. By embracing innovation, fostering inclusivity, and prioritising sustainability, we could build a future where all individuals have the opportunity to thrive.

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