Workers the world over have had a torrid year. But the future is bright, argues Callum Williams.
The covid-19 pandemic has taken a terrible toll on the world’s workers. It has destroyed millions of jobs, causing a drop in employment that was 14 times bigger than the one after the financial crisis of a decade ago. In many countries unemployment has risen to levels last seen in the 1930s, with the pain concentrated among the low-skilled. The pandemic has also accentuated inequalities that had previously often only bubbled under the surface. “Essential” workers had to continue travelling to and from their workplaces, exposing themselves to the virus and dying in great numbers even as many of their office-based compatriots were able to shield themselves at home. There are plenty who now fear that the post-pandemic labour market will be one of persistently high inequality and unemployment, with work outsourced abroad or simply handed over to robots.
read more: economist.com