The data announced yesterday by the International Labor Organization (ILO) are shocking and absolutely indicative of the enormous blow to the global economy dealt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the first nine months of this year labour income globally dropped by 10.7 percentage points (3.5 trillion dollars annually).
The ILO’s latest projection for the last quarter is a loss of 245 million full-time jobs, which is much higher than the initial projections.
The announcement follows a plethora of data that demonstrate an unprecedented shock to the economy that is comparable only to wartime conditions.
The data also shows that support measures decided by policymakers, that of course must continue, are inadequate.
In responding to such an enormous crisis amidst looming uncertainty the “conventional weapons” of the pre-corovirus era are insufficient.
The magnitude of the threat requires a combination of both implementation of all available tools and the discovery of new, stronger, and more effective ones that can address new needs.
There is an urgent need for measures that can halt this sudden plunge in of economies into the abyss, protect the weak and vulnerable, and prepare the way for a recovery.
If that does not occur, the crisis will greatly increase inequalities and trigger incalculable social and political repercussions.
Perhaps the time has come to write a new chapter in the history of economic policy.