The pandemic has negatively affected labour markets around the world. According to recent OECD data, the unemployment rate in 2020 is expected to increase significantly in developed economies compared to 2019. A larger increase is expected in the US where unemployment, in the favorable scenario of a single wave, will exceed 11%, a change corresponding to an increase of 7.6 percentage points compared to 2019. On the contrary, the smallest change is expected in Germany where unemployment will reach 4.5%, a change of only 1.3 percentage points compared to 2019.

This large difference in the performance of the labour market is due to the different policies pursued during the pandemic, as unlike the US, and to some extent the UK, Germany, as well as other EU countries, have adopted employment protection policies. That is why countries such as Spain and Greece, despite having the highest projected unemployment rates (as they entered the pandemic with already high unemployment levels due to the previous economic crisis), show a relatively small percentage change compared to the pre-pandemic period.