One Year In: How the Pandemic Impacted Employment Around the World
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One Year In: How the Pandemic Impacted Employment Around the World

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How the Pandemic Impacted Employment Around the World

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The Briefing

  • The global pandemic had a significant impact on average working hours across the globe
  • In 2020, 8.8% of global working hours were lost compared to Q4’2019
  • The amount of working hours lost in 2020 is equal to 255 million full-time jobs

How the Pandemic Impacted Employment Around the World

One year in, the global pandemic has impacted employment and changed the nature of work in a multitude of ways.

As job loss rose across the globe, many countries introduced job retention schemes to steady unemployment rates. At the same time, working hours for many who held on to their jobs were reduced.

To put it in perspective, COVID-19’s negative impact on working hours globally has been around 4x more than that caused by the Global Financial Crisis in 2009.

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

As of January 2021, an estimated 93% of the world’s workforce lives in a country with some type of workplace closure restrictions still in place.

While profits were slashed across many industries, a majority of companies actually avoided firing people. However, 64% of firms either reduced wages, hours, or furloughed workers temporarily.

Compared to Q4’2019, total global working hours were reduced 8.8% in 2020. This is equivalent to approximately 255 million jobs.

Here’s a look at the working hour losses in a number of different countries.

Country2020 Work Hour Losses Compared to Q4'2019
Peru27.5%
Honduras24.3%
Panama23.5%
Argentina21.0%
Colombia20.9%
Bolivia20.5%
El Salvador19.4%
Ecuador17.6%
Costa Rica17.5%
Nepal17.4%
Armenia16.8%
Chile16.7%
Guatemala16.4%
Kuwait16.4%
Dominican Republic15.5%
Brazil14.9%
Bahamas14.8%
Eritrea14.7%
Turkey14.7%
Cyprus14.6%
Azerbaijan14.1%
Morocco14.1%
North Macedonia13.8%
India13.7%
Venezuela13.7%
Philippines13.6%
South Africa13.6%
Italy13.5%
Myanmar13.4%
Portugal13.4%
Cape Verde13.3%
Spain13.2%
Georgia13.1%
Oman13.1%
United States Virgin Islands13.0%
Moldova12.9%
Slovakia12.8%
United Kingdom12.8%
Greece12.6%
Cuba12.5%
Guyana12.5%
Ireland12.5%
Mexico12.5%
Bangladesh12.2%
Uganda12.2%
Bhutan11.9%
Suriname11.8%
Kyrgyzstan11.7%
Algeria11.6%
Kazakhstan11.5%
Maldives11.4%
Paraguay11.4%
Jamaica11.3%
Trinidad and Tobago11.3%
Uruguay11.2%
Belize11.1%
Malaysia11.1%
Iraq10.8%
Malta10.6%
Austria10.5%
Barbados10.4%
Jordan10.4%
Lebanon10.3%
Eswatini9.9%
Sri Lanka9.9%
Saint Lucia9.8%
Bosnia and Herzegovina9.7%
Guam9.6%
Egypt9.5%
Ethiopia9.5%
Kenya9.5%
Qatar9.5%
Rwanda9.4%
Canada9.3%
Congo9.3%
Libya9.3%
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines9.3%
United Arab Emirates9.3%
Israel9.2%
Pakistan9.2%
United States9.2%
Sudan9.1%
Zimbabwe9.1%
Bahrain9.0%
Liberia9.0%
Guinea-Bissau8.9%
Nigeria8.9%
Sao Tome and Principe8.9%
Romania8.8%
Ukraine8.8%
South Sudan8.7%
Angola8.6%
Hong Kong8.6%
Puerto Rico8.6%
Equatorial Guinea8.5%
Russia8.5%
Uzbekistan8.5%
Chad8.4%
France8.4%
Gabon8.3%
Saudi Arabia8.3%
Indonesia8.2%
Western Sahara8.2%
Slovenia8.0%
Montenegro7.8%
Singapore7.8%
Syria7.8%
Gambia7.7%
Guinea7.6%
Haiti7.6%
Serbia7.5%
Lesotho7.4%
Tonga7.4%
Belgium7.3%
Comoros7.1%
Madagascar6.9%
Djibouti6.8%
Mauritius6.7%
Democratic Republic of the Congo6.6%
Afghanistan6.5%
Botswana6.4%
Fiji6.3%
Germany6.3%
Iceland6.3%
Senegal6.3%
Lithuania6.1%
Bulgaria6.0%
Tunisia6.0%
Channel Islands5.9%
Iran5.9%
Namibia5.9%
French Polynesia5.7%
Croatia5.5%
Japan5.4%
Mauritania5.3%
Vanuatu5.3%
Hungary5.2%
Mozambique5.2%
Sweden5.2%
Vietnam5.2%
Malawi5.1%
Central African Republic5.0%
Togo4.9%
Cambodia4.8%
Samoa4.8%
Australia4.7%
Ghana4.7%
Estonia4.5%
Thailand4.5%
Brunei Darussalam4.4%
North Korea4.4%
Czech Republic4.3%
Laos4.3%
Netherlands4.3%
Cameroon4.2%
Côte d'Ivoire4.2%
China4.1%
Albania3.9%
Taiwan3.9%
Sierra Leone3.8%
Switzerland3.8%
Turkmenistan3.8%
South Korea3.7%
Luxembourg3.7%
Nicaragua3.7%
New Caledonia3.5%
Poland3.5%
Denmark3.3%
Latvia3.3%
Mali3.3%
Benin3.2%
Tajikistan3.2%
Timor-Leste2.7%
Burkina Faso2.6%
Zambia2.6%
Mongolia2.5%
Norway2.5%
Somalia2.5%
Macau1.9%
Papua New Guinea1.8%
Solomon Islands1.8%
Tanzania1.8%
Belarus1.3%
Finland1.3%
Yemen1.3%
Niger1.1%
New Zealand0.8%
Burundi-0.1%

The loss of working hours has impacted Southern Europe, South Asia, the Americas, and the Caribbean most significantly. Not surprisingly, these regions are all heavily reliant on tourism and hospitality to fuel their economies.

Job Losses and the Future of Work

Working hour losses, however, do not just come from reductions in hours. The ILO approximates that the blame for working hour losses can be shared equally, with around half due to job losses and half due to a reduction in working hours.

Worldwide employment losses in 2020 were equal to 114 million jobs.

However, a large number of people have notably been deemed ‘inactive,’ rather than unemployed, reducing the global labor force participation rate overall.

ℹ️ Economic inactivity describes a situation wherein a person is either unable to work or is not actively seeking employment.

Although a rebound in working hours and jobs is expected in 2021, the pandemic’s effects on how we work, and the kinds jobs that are available will have a deeper long-term effect on the global labor force participation.

» Want to learn more? Check out our COVID-19 information hub to help put the past year into perspective

Where does this data come from?

Source: ILO
Details: The source defines workers as individuals aged 15-64. Full time jobs are defined using a 40 hour or 48 hour work week depending on the country. Additionally, the ILO used a multitude of national data sources on unemployment, furlough schemes, etc. to calculate working hour losses. Their methodology can be explored further here.

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Datastream

Visualizing Companies with the Most Patents Granted in 2021

Companies around the world invest billions in R&D to provide cutting-edge innovation to their products and services.

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companies with the most patents

The Briefing

  • In 2021, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted a total of 327,798 utility patents
  • For almost three decades, IBM has been granted more patents each year than any other U.S. company

Visualizing Companies with the Most Patents Granted in 2021

Companies around the world invest billions in R&D to provide cutting-edge innovation to their products and services. In order to protect these investments, companies apply for patents. Therefore, the number of utility patents a company is granted can be considered a rough measure of its level of innovation.

Every year, the Patent 300 List identifies America’s most innovative companies within the intellectual property space by analyzing the patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

In 2021, the USPTO granted a total of 327,798 utility patents, down 7% from the previous year. Let’s take a look at which companies generated the most patents in 2021.

RankCountryCompany/Organization2021
Patents
Change
from 2020
1🇺🇸 U.S.International Business Machines Corporation8,540-9%
2🇰🇷 South KoreaSamsung Electronics Co., Ltd.8,5170%
3🇰🇷 South KoreaLg Corporation4,388-13%
4🇯🇵 JapanCanon K.K.3,400-8%
5🇨🇳 ChinaHuawei Technologies Co., Ltd.2,955-7%
6🇺🇸 U.S.Intel Corporation2,835-14%
7🇹🇼 TaiwanTaiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. Ltd.2,807-3%
8🇯🇵 JapanToyota Jidosha K.K.2,753-2%
9🇺🇸 U.S.Raytheon Technologies Corporation2,694-16%
10🇯🇵 JapanSony Corporation2,624-9%

For 29 consecutive years, IBM has led U.S. companies in the number of patents received annually. In 2021, the company received 8,540 patents, a 9% decline from the previous year.

IBM’s innovations are focused on solving major global challenges, and cover areas such as sustainable growth, climate change, and preventing future pandemics, as well as initiatives enabling food and energy security. They aim to address these problems through a blend of high-performance computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and quantum computing.

One of IBM’s most noteworthy innovations in 2021 was their new quantum processor called Eagle, which broke the 100-qubit barrier to bring quantum computing into a new era. This processor has the ability to solve problems that classical computers can’t, giving it the potential to bring real-world benefits to different fields from renewable energy to finance and more.

Samsung: A Close Second Innovator

Samsung Electronics is one of the biggest innovators over the last decade. In 2021, the company got 8,517 patents granted by the USPTO, a close second to IBM.

The company’s patent-winning innovations take place in several areas, including virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), 5G technologies, and autonomous driving.

The Technology Sector Dominates Utility Patents

Unsurprisingly, out of the top 25 companies with the most patents granted in 2021, 16 of them belong to the technology sector.

However, utility patents are not only limited to tech companies.

In fact, companies from all sectors apply for patents every year. Patents are great assets for companies since they give them exclusive commercial rights for their inventions and protect them from competition. This is one of the main reasons we see companies getting thousands of new patents every year.

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Russia Has Been Suspended From the UN Human Rights Council

Here’s how the global community voted on the resolution: In favor – 93 | Abstained – 58 | Against – 24

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Visualization showing Russia's suspension from UN Human Rights Council. 93 countries voted for the resolution, 24 against

The Briefing

  • 93 countries voted in favor of suspending Russia from the UN’s Human Rights Council, including all NATO member countries
  • 24 countries voted against the resolution, including; China, Iran, and North Korea

Russia Has Been Suspended From the UN Human Rights Council

On April 7, 2022, the United Nations suspended Russia from its seat on the Human Rights Council.

This suspension comes amid growing condemnation of Russia over alleged civilian murders committed by Russian troops in Ukraine. Widely distributed videos appear to show the bodies of civilians scattered along the streets in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

To be approved, the resolution required a two-thirds majority of assembly members that vote “yes” or “no”. Here is a complete list of how countries voted:

CountryVoteNATO MemberFormer Soviet Union
🇦🇩 AndorraIn favor
🇦🇫 Afghanistan--
🇦🇬 Antigua and BarbudaIn favor
🇦🇱 AlbaniaIn favor
✔️
🇦🇲 Armenia--
✔️
🇦🇴 AngolaAbstained
🇦🇷 ArgentinaIn favor
🇦🇹 AustriaIn favor
🇦🇺 AustraliaIn favor
🇦🇿 Azerbaijan--
✔️
🇧🇧 BarbadosAbstained
🇧🇩 BangladeshAbstained
🇧🇪 BelgiumIn favor
✔️
🇧🇫 Burkina Faso--
🇧🇬 BulgariaIn favor
✔️
🇧🇭 BahrainAbstained
🇧🇮 BurundiAgainst
🇧🇯 Benin--
🇧🇳 Brunei DarussalamAbstained
🇧🇴 BoliviaAgainst
🇧🇷 BrazilAbstained
🇧🇸 BahamasIn favor
🇧🇹 BhutanAbstained
🇧🇼 BotswanaAbstained
🇧🇾 BelarusAgainst
✔️
🇧🇿 BelizeAbstained
🇨🇦 CanadaIn favor
✔️
🇨🇩 Dem. Republic of the CongoIn favor
🇨🇫 Central African RepublicAgainst
🇨🇬 Republic of the CongoAgainst
🇨🇭 SwitzerlandIn favor
🇨🇮 Côte d’IvoireIn favor
🇨🇱 ChileIn favor
🇨🇲 CameroonAbstained
🇨🇳 ChinaAgainst
🇨🇴 ColombiaIn favor
🇨🇷 Costa RicaIn favor
🇨🇺 CubaAgainst
🇨🇻 Cabo VerdeAbstained
🇨🇾 CyprusIn favor
🇨🇿 Czech RepublicIn favor
✔️
🇩🇪 GermanyIn favor
✔️
🇩🇯 Djibouti--
🇩🇰 DenmarkIn favor
✔️
🇩🇲 DominicaIn favor
🇩🇴 Dominican RepublicIn favor
🇩🇿 AlgeriaAgainst
🇪🇨 EcuadorIn favor
🇪🇪 EstoniaIn favor
✔️
✔️
🇪🇬 EgyptAbstained
🇪🇷 EritreaAgainst
🇪🇸 SpainIn favor
✔️
🇪🇹 EthiopiaAgainst
🇫🇮 FinlandIn favor
🇫🇯 FijiIn favor
🇫🇲 MicronesiaIn favor
🇫🇷 FranceIn favor
✔️
🇬🇦 GabonAgainst
🇬🇩 GrenadaIn favor
🇬🇪 GeorgiaIn favor
✔️
🇬🇭 GhanaAbstained
🇬🇲 GambiaAbstained
🇬🇳 Guinea--
🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea--
🇬🇷 GreeceIn favor
✔️
🇬🇹 GuatemalaIn favor
🇬🇼 Guinea-BissauAbstained
🇬🇾 GuyanaAbstained
🇭🇳 HondurasIn favor
🇭🇷 CroatiaIn favor
✔️
🇭🇹 HaitiIn favor
🇭🇺 HungaryIn favor
✔️
🇮🇩 IndonesiaAbstained
🇮🇪 IrelandIn favor
🇮🇱 IsraelIn favor
🇮🇳 IndiaAbstained
🇮🇶 IraqAbstained
🇮🇷 IranAgainst
🇮🇸 IcelandIn favor
✔️
🇮🇹 ItalyIn favor
✔️
🇯🇲 JamaicaIn favor
🇯🇴 JordanAbstained
🇯🇵 JapanIn favor
🇰🇪 KenyaAbstained
🇰🇬 KyrgyzstanAgainst
✔️
🇰🇭 CambodiaAbstained
🇰🇮 KiribatiIn favor
🇰🇲 ComorosIn favor
🇰🇳 Saint Kitts and NevisAbstained
🇰🇵 North KoreaAgainst
🇰🇷 South KoreaIn favor
🇰🇼 KuwaitAbstained
🇰🇿 KazakhstanAgainst
✔️
🇱🇦 LaosAgainst
🇱🇧 Lebanon--
🇱🇨 Saint LuciaIn favor
🇱🇮 LiechtensteinIn favor
🇱🇰 Sri LankaAbstained
🇱🇷 LiberiaIn favor
🇱🇸 LesothoAbstained
🇱🇹 LithuaniaIn favor
✔️
✔️
🇱🇺 LuxembourgIn favor
✔️
🇱🇻 LatviaIn favor
✔️
✔️
🇱🇾 LibyaIn favor
🇲🇦 Morocco--
🇲🇨 MonacoIn favor
🇲🇩 MoldovaIn favor
✔️
🇲🇪 MontenegroIn favor
✔️
🇲🇬 MadagascarAbstained
🇲🇭 Marshall IslandsIn favor
🇲🇰 North MacedoniaIn favor
✔️
🇲🇱 MaliAgainst
🇲🇲 MyanmarIn favor
🇲🇳 MongoliaAbstained
🇲🇷 Mauritania--
🇲🇹 MaltaIn favor
🇲🇺 MauritiusIn favor
🇲🇻 MaldivesAbstained
🇲🇼 MalawiIn favor
🇲🇽 MexicoAbstained
🇲🇾 MalaysiaAbstained
🇲🇿 MozambiqueAbstained
🇳🇦 NamibiaAbstained
🇳🇪 NigerAbstained
🇳🇬 NigeriaAbstained
🇳🇮 NicaraguaAgainst
🇳🇱 NetherlandsIn favor
✔️
🇳🇴 NorwayIn favor
✔️
🇳🇵 NepalAbstained
🇳🇷 NauruIn favor
🇳🇿 New ZealandIn favor
🇴🇲 OmanAbstained
🇵🇦 PanamaIn favor
🇵🇪 PeruIn favor
🇵🇬 Papua New GuineaIn favor
🇵🇭 PhilippinesIn favor
🇵🇰 PakistanAbstained
🇵🇱 PolandIn favor
✔️
🇵🇹 PortugalIn favor
✔️
🇵🇼 PalauIn favor
🇵🇾 ParaguayIn favor
🇶🇦 QatarAbstained
🇷🇴 RomaniaIn favor
✔️
🇷🇸 SerbiaIn favor
🇷🇺 RussiaAgainst
✔️
🇷🇼 Rwanda--
🇸🇦 Saudi ArabiaAbstained
🇸🇧 Solomon Islands--
🇸🇨 SeychellesIn favor
🇸🇩 SudanAbstained
🇸🇪 SwedenIn favor
🇸🇬 SingaporeAbstained
🇸🇮 SloveniaIn favor
✔️
🇸🇰 SlovakiaIn favor
✔️
🇸🇱 Sierra LeoneIn favor
🇸🇲 San MarinoIn favor
🇸🇳 SenegalAbstained
🇸🇴 Somalia--
🇸🇷 SurinameAbstained
🇸🇸 South SudanAbstained
🇸🇹 Sao Tome and Principe--
🇸🇻 El SalvadorAbstained
🇸🇾 SyriaAgainst
🇸🇿 EswatiniAbstained
🇹🇩 ChadIn favor
🇹🇬 TogoAbstained
🇹🇭 ThailandAbstained
🇹🇯 TajikistanAgainst
✔️
🇹🇱 Timor LesteIn favor
🇹🇲 Turkmenistan--
✔️
🇹🇳 TunisiaAbstained
🇹🇴 TongaIn favor
🇹🇷 TurkeyIn favor
✔️
🇹🇹 Trinidad and TobagoAbstained
🇹🇻 TuvaluIn favor
🇹🇿 TanzaniaAbstained
🇺🇦 UkraineIn favor
✔️
🇺🇬 UgandaAbstained
🇦🇪 United Arab EmiratesAbstained
🇬🇧 United KingdomIn favor
✔️
🇺🇸 United StatesIn favor
✔️
🇺🇾 UruguayIn favor
🇺🇿 UzbekistanAgainst
✔️
🇻🇨 St Vincent and the GrenadinesAbstained
🇻🇪 Venezuela--
🇻🇳 VietnamAgainst
🇻🇺 VanuatuAbstained
🇼🇸 SamoaIn favor
🇾🇪 YemenAbstained
🇿🇦 South AfricaAbstained
🇿🇲 Zambia--
🇿🇼 ZimbabweAgainst
🏴󠁢󠁡󠁢󠁩󠁨󠁿 Bosnia and HerzegovinaIn favor

Not surprisingly, all NATO countries voted in favor of suspending Russia from the Council. This includes Turkey, which has taken a more neutral stance than other allies since the invasion began. Altogether, 93 countries voted for the resolution.

On the other side, 24 countries voted against the resolution. China is perhaps the most significant “no” vote, citing a lack of openness and transparency in the process. Of course, Russia itself voted against the resolution.

A number of countries abstained from voting, most notably, India. Leading up to the vote, Moscow indicated that even an abstention would be viewed as an “unfriendly gesture” with consequences for bilateral ties.

This suspension adds to the list of actions taken against Russia—including heavy sanctions—as the country becomes more isolated from the international community—particularly Western nations.

What Does the UN Human Rights Council Do?

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is a UN body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world.

The Council investigates breaches of human rights in UN member states and member countries address big picture human rights issues.

How Does the UN Human Rights Council Work?

The Council consists of 47 members, elected yearly by the General Assembly for staggered three-year terms.

Using the UN regional grouping system, members are selected to represent a diverse and fair mix of countries from around the world. Until its suspension, Russia was one of the two countries representing Eastern Europe, along with Ukraine.

Members are eligible for re-election for one additional term, after which they relinquish their seat.

Where does this data come from?

Source: The United Nations

Correction: An earlier version of this graphic had a Colombian flag in the “abstain” section. It has been replaced with the correct flag, Cambodia. Austria was also erroneously grouped with NATO countries.

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