Working Papers

Are Labor Markets in the Middle East and North Africa Recovering from the COVID-19 Pandemic?

No.

SWP 2022-3

Publisher

ILO and ERF

Date

June, 2022

Topic

I. Health

J3. Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

J2. Demand and Supply of Labor

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only led to a health crisis, but also to economic and labor market crises. In an effort to avert the public health threat, countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) initially put in place some of the world’s most stringent government responses. This paper explores how labor market outcomes for MENA workers have evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper uses the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Economic Research Forum (ERF) COVID-19 MENA Monitor phone surveys in Egypt, Jordan6, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia, with waves spanning November 2020 to August 2021. Analyses examine outcomes of employment, unemployment, and labor force participation, along with hours of work and hourly wages. Results show differences in the evolution of pandemic-era labor markets by workers’ gender, age, and education, along with their February 2020 labor market status and industry, as well as their pre-pandemic income. Employment rates have largely recovered and hours of work generally increased. Inequality in wages was initially exacerbated by the pandemic, but there has been at least some recovery on this margin as well. The webinars, reports and papers are supported by the project “Advancing the Decent Work Agenda in North Africa (ADWA’)”, implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The project aims to promote job-rich growth, International Labour Standards (ILS) and their application at the enterprise level. It works at the policymaking level in order to support evidence-based decisions on key dimensions of the Decent Work Agenda. This project was made possible by the generous contributions of the International Labor Organization (ILO), Agence Française de Développement (AFD), The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the Government of the United Kingdom, the World Bank and the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development (AFESD).
Are Labor Markets in the Middle East and North Africa Recovering from the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Authors

Caroline Krafft

Associate Professor of Economics, St. Catherine University

Are Labor Markets in the Middle East and North Africa Recovering from the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Research Fellows

Ragui Assaad

Professor of Planning and Public Affairs, University...

Are Labor Markets in the Middle East and North Africa Recovering from the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Research Fellows

Mohamed Ali Marouani

Associate Professor, Université Paris1-Panthéon-Sorbonne

Are Labor Markets in the Middle East and North Africa Recovering from the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Authors

Ruby Cheung

Economics Research Specialist, St. Catherine University

Are Labor Markets in the Middle East and North Africa Recovering from the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Authors

Ava LaPlante

Student double majoring in public policy and...