Working hours in the ASEAN region are projected to only partially recover in 2021 and 2022 according to new research by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
COVID-19 and the ASEAN labour market: Impact and policy response highlights the heavy impact of the pandemic on ASEAN economies and looks at possible recovery scenarios.
In none of the scenarios, taking into consideration mobility restrictions, progress on vaccinations and the pace of economy recovery, are working hours projected to fully recover by 2022.
In 2021, ASEAN is expected to see losses in working hours of 7.4 per cent in the baseline scenario and 7.0 per cent and 7.9 per cent in the optimistic and pessimistic scenarios, respectively, compared to pre-pandemic levels.
The region recorded working-hour losses of 6.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 and 6.2 per cent in the second quarter. In the second half of 2021, labour market conditions are expected to deteriorate further due to the ongoing wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.