The coronavirus pandemic, which was first detected in China, has infected a staggering 41.3 million people in more than 188 countries, with 1.13 million people having lost their lives to Covid-19.
While Covid-19 may be a health crisis at its core, however, it’s also a socio-economic disaster that has had a significant impact on everything from the global labour market to the world’s financial markets.
We’ll explore this further below, while asking how close we are to a potential economic recovery.
Corona and the Job Market
Even the most conservative global outlook is relatively pessimistic in the wake of Covid-19, with the UN’s International Labour Organization predicting that up to ⅙ billion informal economy workers suffered “massive damage” to their livelihoods in Q2.
During this period, it has been estimated that Covid-19 may have cost the equivalent of 305 million full-time jobs, creating a series of additional issues such as mounting debt, mortgage defaults and a widespread decline in the standard of living.
These trends have even hit the leading G7 nations, which typically set a clear barometer for developing countries from across the globe.
Jobless claims in the US have certainly spiralled, with an estimated 30 million citizens currently out of work in North America and suffering from a continued decline in job creation levels.
While the corresponding number in Japan is as low as 1.76 million, this is still a major concern and one that government’s are looking to address urgently.
Several European governments have softened this trend through wage subsidy schemes and quantitative easing measures, with the UK offering a relevant case in point.
However, the so-called ‘furlough scheme’ is expected to come to an end this month, and while this will transition into the ‘Job Retention Scheme’, it’s thought that the cessation of the program could cost up to 1.2 million jobs.
What About the Markets?
Global shares have also been in flux since the outbreak, with big shifts in stock markets even affecting established tech giants.
Make no mistake; indexes such as the FTSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nikkei all plunged to record lows in March as coronavirus evolved into a global pandemic, although further quantitative easing and stimulus measures helped to slash base interest rates and boost market performance during Q2 and Q3.
However, this had a subsequent and negative impact on currency values, which plunged in line with declining interest rates and a reduction in capital inflows from overseas. Even the USD has declined in recent weeks, as Congress continues to discuss the merits of a proposed $2.2 trillion stimulus package.
There is room for optimism in the markets, however, particularly when you consider the incremental improvements seen between April and September.
Of course, it has also been possible for speculators to hedge against specific assets and achieve a profit as the markets have declined, and this trend is sure to continue in the near-term.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!