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Training programs could revert lack of workers, calls IMF

January 24, 2022

The latest survey by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) points out that two years after the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are many job vacancies in advanced economies. However, many professionals still have not resumed their functions in total. The IMF survey is based on examples from the United States and the United Kingdom, where the employment rate is below pre-Covid rates.

The report offers four commonly held explanations:

  1. The effect of generous income support on willingness to seek and take up jobs.
  2. A mismatch between the types of jobs that are available and the willingness of people to fill them.
  3. Mothers of young children exiting the workforce amid continued disruptions to school and childcare.
  4. Older workers withdrawing from the labor force.

The authors found that lower participation among older workers not returning to work is the common thread, and matters most. Mismatch plays a secondary role. The fall in female participation is unique to the US, but quantitatively important.

To reverse the situation, the IMF recommends more professional training programs and, in the specific case of the United States, expanding the opportunities for places in daycare centers and preschools: “To minimize the risk of scarring to employment, addressing the pandemic remains key, so workers are fully able to return to the labor market. So are well-designed training programs to reduce risks of mismatch, and—particularly in the US—expanded childcare and preschool opportunities”.


Source: IMF