In this week's wrap, read about how Sri Lanka and other countries are handling unemployment due to the pandemic.
Overnight, business leaders had to face novel and increasingly complex business challenges at the onset of this pandemic. Hardly anybody had past experience of handling an organisational crisis of this magnitude. Conceptualising solutions to look after the best interest of every stakeholder became a demanding task for all leaders. Nevertheless, the true capability of a leader can be assessed in the way in which a crisis situation is handled. One’s hidden talents become evident when they are been challenged. ‘We are as only as big as the challenges we accept’. Dhammika Kalapuge writes to Daily FT on how the leader’s role in managing customer service in a crisis is an art.
Much has been written and many webinars held about the impact COVID-19 has had on Sri Lanka’s economy but the latest Census and Statistics Department’s first quarter report on unemployment suggests that lack of jobs had reached a 10-year high before the lockdown. Clearly, employment opportunities have been hampered by low growth over the past few years and Sri Lanka has been struggling to create large numbers of good jobs over several years.
To keep development goals in sight, policymakers need to fan the embers of productivity growth
Growth of labor productivity – output per worker – is demonstrably the main source of lasting per capita income growth, which in turn is the primary driver of poverty reduction. That the COVID-19 pandemic could depress productivity growth even further, after a decade of broad-based declines, should be a cause for concern and intensify efforts to achieve development goals as we recover and rebuild.
A Job Guarantee Costs Far Less Than Unemployment
Nearly 33 million workers in the United States are receiving unemployment insurance as a consequence of the pandemic, and fully half of low-income Americans have lost jobs and wages due to COVID-19. The labor market has always been a cruel game of musical chairs, but it is more so today, as millions face unemployment rates not seen in the postwar era.