The International Labor Organisation (ILO) has recently released two reports: ‘Global Wage Report 2022-2023 and ‘Asia-Pacific Employment and Social Outlook 2022, highlighting the global employment scenario (post-pandemic).
What does the data show?
Trends in Nominal wage: The nominal wages rose to Rs17,017 per month in 2021 from Rs4,398 in 2006. The source referred to was the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
Factoring in Inflation: The real wage growth in India plunged to -0.2% in 2021 from 9.3% in 2006.
Negative Growth: The negative growth in India started after the pandemic.
In China, the growth decreased from 5.6% in 2019 to 2% in 2022.
In Pakistan, the growth is -3.8%.
Figures for Sri Lanka were not available
Impact on low earners: The greatest impact was on lower-income earners as they have to spend most of their disposable income on essential goods and services.
Is inequality rising?
At the Asia-Pacific level: Only the jobs in high-skill occupations saw a recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, and the same is true across all subregions.
Hit on Low-to-medium-skill jobs: There is an employment gain of 1.6% among high-skill workers between 2019 and 2021, but there is no such substantial gain among low-to-medium-skill workers.
Among G-20 Countries: A significant gap in the average level of real wages between advanced G-20 countries and emerging G-20 countries such as India has been observed.
It is on the level of about $4,000 per month in advanced economies and about $1,800 per month in emerging economies.
What are the ILO’s remedies?
Prudent price expectation: It is crucial to safeguard the standard of living of low-income households against unexpected future inflation hikes.
Managing wage inflation: The potential measures which are to be taken to safeguard the standard of living must not come from undesirable wage inflation.
Creation of decent formal wage employment: It is a prerequisite for a more equitable distribution of wages and income, and is a key contributor to equitable and sustainable wage growth.
Focus on the gender pay gap: The governments must focus on the gender pay gap as when women leave the labor market, they are less likely to return than men.
Collective Efforts: Collective efforts are required to gain momentum for growth. The government has to strengthen labor market institutions and wage policies.
Multilateral approach: There is an urgent need to address the negative effects of climate change; increasing inequalities; the poverty, discrimination, violence, and exclusion endured by millions of people.
Taking down Discrimination: The discrimination that women and girls continue to suffer in many parts of the world must end.
Ensuring HealthCare: Access to vaccines, adequate sanitation and essential healthcare for all must be ensured.
Reducing the digital divide: The growing digital divide between poor and wealthier countries needs to be reduced as it poses a potential speed-breaker when it comes to equitable growth.
About International Labour Organization (ILO)
Established in 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles as an affiliated agency of the League of Nations.
The full form of ILO is International Labour Organization.
Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
Became the first affiliated specialized agency of the UN in 1946.
Tripartite principle: The basis of the ILO is the tripartite principle, i.e. the negotiations within the organization are held between the representatives of governments, trade unions, and member-states employers.
The ILO is known to be the oldest and first specialized agency of the U.N.
The organization’s main objective is to provide services that unite forces among governments, workers, and businesses.
It focuses on workers' or laborers' need to enjoy equity, freedom, human dignity, and security via employment.
The International Labour Organization encourages international Labour standards.
Received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969
India and ILO
India is a founding member of the ILO and it has been a permanent member of the ILO Governing Body since 1922.
In India, the first ILO Office was started in 1928.
India has ratified six out of the eight core/fundamental ILO conventions. These conventions are:
Forced Labour Convention
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
Equal Remuneration Convention
Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention
Minimum Age Convention
Worst forms of Child Labour Convention
India has not ratified the two core/fundamental conventions, namely Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948, and the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949.