As vaccination campaigns continue and some countries begin to loosen COVID restrictions, economic growth is expected to accelerate. The unprecedented levels of assistance that countries have provided through job retention schemes and income support have saved up to 21 million jobs and helped many households make it through the pandemic. In many ways, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
But this light burns more brightly for some than others. We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened already existing social and economic divides, between those with high skills and high incomes and those without, between generations, between men and women, between those with good jobs and those with precarious jobs or no jobs at all. Unemployment is high and jobs are not expected to make a rapid recovery. Reaching pre-pandemic employment rates may take several years.