The UN's International Labour Organization has revised its previous forecast on global employment recovery from the pandemic.
The Covid-19 crisis has continued to hit jobs hard around the world, according to the United Nations, which warned it could take years for employment levels to reach pre-pandemic levels.
In a new study released on Monday, the UN's International Labour Organization (ILO) revised its previous forecast that the global employment market will make a nearly full recovery from the virus this year.
At a UN press conference, ILO Director General Guy Ryder said this year’s unemployment estimate is 207 million, compared to 186 million in 2019.
“Inequality and the unequal policy response to Covid-19 have been a constant concern of the ILO driven,” said Ryder calling for “international cooperation."
Blaming the impacts of Covid-19 variants like Delta and Omicron and uncertainty around how the pandemic will evolve, the ILO now projects a significant deficit in working hours in 2022 compared to before the virus emerged.
The report predicted that global working hours would be two percent below the numbers seen in 2019, leaving the world short of the equivalent of some 52 million jobs.
Numerous factors appear to be driving the so-called "Great Resignation" seen in some countries, Ryder said, adding that the crisis clearly "has led a significant number of people in the workforce to reconsider the employment that they have."
Shifts in the way we work meanwhile seem to be deepening various forms of inequality, including exacerbating gender inequity, according to the report.
It has been clear from the start that the pandemic was disproportionately impacting women, who have taken on the lion's share of the additional care work, and also more often work in hard-hit sectors, like services and travel.
"There are concerns that the long-Covid effect on gender at work would be a negative one," Ryder said.
Changes like the move towards greater reliance on informal self-employment, the rise in remote work and shifting trends in temporary work, "all risk impairing the quality of working conditions", the report said.
The ILO chief cautioned that "without concerted and effective international and domestic policies, it is likely that in many countries it will take years to repair this damage."