ILO Technical brief

Rapid Diagnostics for Assessing the Country Level Impact of COVID-19 on the Economy and Labour Market - Guidelines

These guidelines were developed by the ILO's Employment, Labour Markets and Youth Branch (EMPLAB) to support countries, through ILO employment specialists and Country Offices, undertake rapid diagnostics to assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and policy responses.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis, which has resulted in severe economic and labour market shocks, particularly through the containment measures adopted around the world. According to the 3rd ILO Monitor released on 29 April, global working hours in the second quarter 2020 are expected to be 10.5 per cent lower than in the last quarter of 2019, which is equivalent to 305 million full-time jobs.

While the COVID-19 outbreak has affected countries in different ways and containment responses vary, all countries have felt the economic decline resulting from falling global demand and disruptions in global supply chains, capital flows and tourism. Women are particularly vulnerable to this crisis by the combined effect of job losses.

If policy measures to mitigate the impact on the labour market are insufficient, there will be a further round of contractionary effects on economic activity due to lower levels of incomes and consumption among workers and lower levels of investment by businesses, resulting in a prolonged and deep recession, which might deepen inequalities.

As the impact of the crisis has intensified around the world, countries need immediate, real-time support on assessing the employment impact of COVID-19. Towards this goal, the rapid diagnostics seek to:
1. Assess the current impact and transmission mechanisms of the COVID-19 crisis on a country’s economy and labour market, while identifying the most affected sectors/groups;
2. Review existing policy responses, their objectives and expected impacts, and identify gaps in policy implementation.