The coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented economic damage.
The surging number of coronavirus cases in many parts of the country will likely cause millions more to lose their jobs, as states move to reimplement lockdown restrictions and businesses are forced to close. And the labor market will not return to pre-pandemic levels for at least the next decade, according to a forecast from the Congressional Budget Office.
Globally, too, the fallout from the pandemic has been dire. In contrast to the United States, many European countries have adopted large-scale economic relief programs designed to prevent mass unemployment. But as countries begin to emerge from lockdown, governments are beginning to wind down those job-retention schemes — a situation that could lead to a spike in layoffs.
Many jobs that people had before the pandemic are “not coming back,” U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said recently. “We face a real, real crisis.”
The number of job losses across Europe, the United States, and other developed countries has been 10 times greater than during the first months of the 2008 financial crisis, the OECD stated.
“In a matter of a few months, the COVID-19 crisis wiped out all improvements in the labor market made since the end of the 2008 financial crisis,” Stefano Scarpetta, the OECD’s director of employment, labor and social affairs, said in a news briefing.
Young people — just as they enter the workforce — have been particularly hard hit by the economic impact of the pandemic, but the scale of the long-term impacts on them is only just starting to emerge.