Tackle unemployment challenges in the aftermath of Covid-19

The global outbreak of Covid-19 has spawned a significant aftermath, with unemployment emerging as a pressing concern. The International Labour Organization (ILO) released a report earlier this year underscoring the distressing trend of unemployment, particularly in developing and least-developed nations. The report cautioned that unless low-income countries take decisive action to address employment and social security concerns, the unemployment predicament is poised to exacerbate.
The ripple effects of escalating unemployment can deal a blow to a nation’s economy, as it fails to harness the full potential of its workforce. Prolonged joblessness contributes to idle time and mental strain among the unemployed, giving rise to a slew of social issues. The psychological burden they bear can also trigger mental health disorders, impeding not only individual well-being but also societal stability, economic progress, and public health efforts.
Myanmar, grappling with unemployment issues for years, faced a harsh surge in job losses during the period of the terrible Covid-19 outbreak. Additionally, a confluence of existing factors has aggravated the unemployment situation within the nation. Myanmar’s Ministry of Labour’s March report on labour statistics estimated a successive increase in unemployment rates: 0.17 per cent in 2020, 1.33 per cent in 2021, 2.53 per cent in 2022, and a worrying 3.69 per cent in 2023. It is imperative that responsible governments and policymakers address this challenge proactively, especially as the international community deems an unemployment rate exceeding two per cent as critical.
The repercussions of unchecked unemployment are dire, leading to a self-perpetuating cycle of joblessness just when a nation is grappling with a downturn in its economy. During the Post-Covid-19 period, countries worldwide adopted new strategies to revitalize their economies and resuscitate pandemic-affected sectors. While some developing nations are on the path to recovery of the economic sector, other countries which are ensnared by conflicts and economic hardships continue to languish in economic downturns that span years.

In this climate, governments are faced with the onerous task of resurrecting both public and private economic sectors to alleviate unemployment stressors. A strong emphasis on the manufacturing sector comprising MSME businesses can pave the way for job creation to ease the social tensions of the people while striving to curtail inflation rates affecting domestic and overseas employment. This approach promises to yield fruitful outcomes, granting the populace a reprieve from economic turmoil and unemployment strains to a certain extent.

In this climate, governments are faced with the onerous task of resurrecting both public and private economic sectors to alleviate unemployment stressors. A strong emphasis on the manufacturing sector comprising MSME businesses can pave the way for job creation to ease the social tensions of the people while striving to curtail inflation rates affecting domestic and overseas employment. This approach promises to yield fruitful outcomes, granting the populace a reprieve from economic turmoil and unemployment strains to a certain extent.

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