Over one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, people are worried about their jobs and finances. The COVID-19 crisis has led to a fall in employment and millions of jobs and businesses in once secure sectors have been hard hit, such as tourism, hospitality, retail and construction.
SMEs account for the majority of firms and jobs in OECD countries, particularly in these sectors. Many are struggling, as are those who work in them, often young people, women and low-income workers. Many have experienced work disruption – such as furloughs, job losses, leaves, resignations – since the start of the crisis.
The human impact is clear: 1 in 10 people say they haven’t been able to cover their basic expenses, such as rent, mortgage, utility or credit card bills. Things have been particularly tough for households with young people and children. People are concerned about their household’s overall well-being and about having the skills to secure a well-paid, stable job in the coming decade.
We need to provide adequate social protection to all people, as well as the necessary training for them to find work in new sectors as the recovery unfolds. We need to support viable firms and help industries develop new sectors and jobs.