OECD Countries: Labour Market Policy During COVID-19 Pandemic

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-1-110-118
N. Vishnevskaya, vishnev@hse.ru
National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20, Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation.

Received 23.09.2021.

Acknowledgements. The article was prepared within the framework of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE).

Abstract. In 2020 – the first half of 2021, the OECD economies faced a serious crisis, which was manifested by an increase in unemployment, a reduction in the number of jobs, and a decrease in household income. However, the nature of the last crisis and, accordingly, the ways out of it differed significantly from the previous recessions. During the COVID 19 pandemic, the global economy faced a massive supply shock caused by the forced shutdowns and the introduction of a self-isolation regime. The key task of state policy was to preserve the human capital of companies in order to facilitate the fastest possible recovery when anti-epidemic restrictions have been lifted. The OECD governments launch strong agenda to maintain their labor markets. The State Employment Service and the unemployment insurance system have significantly adjusted their methods of interaction with unemployed and companies. This included measures to simplify the procedure for obtaining unemployment benefits, which led to a significant increase in the number of beneficiaries. The deadlines for payment of benefits have been extended, the amount of the benefits has been increased and, in a number of countries, some groups of workers who had previously remained outside the system were included in the insurance system. Teleworking has become an important means of overcoming the spread of infection. The proportion of teleworkers in OECD countries ranged in the midst of the crisis from 30 to 60%. Governments are actively involved in supporting distance employment, starting with its legislative permission and ending with financial support for companies that are switching to this form of work. During the pandemic, job retention programs have become one of the main labor market support tools. The characteristic features of job retention programs were the wide coverage of workers, the simplification of the procedure for obtaining the state aid, the inclusion of workers with a non-standard form of contract. The governments have sought to encourage companies to use the reduced work period for professional retraining. Once the pandemic is over, OECD countries will have to return to the backlog of structural labor market problems.

Keywords: labor market, pandemic, state policies, distant work, OECD countries


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For citation:
Vishnevskaya N. OECD Countries: Labour Market Policy During COVID-19 Pandemic. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2022, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 110-118. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-1-110-118

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