Future of Jobs Report: The Pandemic's Impact on Equality
The Covid-19 pandemic changed everything. Now more than ever before, workers are burnt out and tired. Thousands of people started working from home, and thousands more were displaced from their jobs. Family members had to separate from their loved ones, and millions across the world have lost their lives. However, the pandemic did not change everyone’s lives to the same degree. Those that were underprivileged before the pandemic were affected disproportionately more than those that were not.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) published a report in 2020 about the future of jobs. In this report, the WEF shared staggering statistics about the inequities that were deepened because of the pandemic. The report highlights the sad truth that those that are underprivileged suffer disproportionately more from disastrous events. The attributes that influence economic inclusion and exclusion are age and generation, gender and gender expression, sexual orientation, mental and physical abilities, level of health, race, ethnicity, religion, geographic location. These inequities are typically reflected on outcomes such as level of education, employment type, income level, and socio-economic status. For example, displaced workers, or those that were forced to leave their jobs, in 2020 were on average younger, made a lower wage, and female. Additionally, workers in unspecialized positions – typically those that make a lower wage – were more often laid off. Therefore, those that retained their jobs were more likely those that already had safety net to fall back on but didn’t need to use it, and those that lost their jobs were left with few resources and a growing stack of bills.
What does this mean going forward? How can we make a difference for those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and other disasters? Besides governmental intervention to alleviate the economic impact on workers through the disbursement of emergency funds and other programs, organizations need to be cognizant of these growing inequities; otherwise, America is going to continue to suffer. Long-term impact on earnings among young people resulted in persistent earnings declines lasting up to 10 years in previous recessions. These financial burdens can compound by contributing to intensified burnout, and therefore decreased productivity. There is not any easy solution; however, it may be as simple as starting by asking employees what they need most, right now. Some employees may require more flexible work schedules or a remote working option, while others may need a pay increase to keep up with the inflated cost of living. By making sure that employees’ basic needs are met, the workforce may continue to persevere. Whatever the answer is, Meridiem Solutions is committed to helping their clients lift up their workers.
Source: World Economic Forum, Future of Jobs 2020