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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Top 20 Countries With the Most Ultra-Wealthy Individuals

Developing countries are creating wealth like never before, but the majority of the world’s ultra-wealthy people still live in the United States.

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The Briefing

  • According to Credit Suisse, there are now 218,200 people globally with assets over $50 million.
  • The majority (53%) of the world’s ultra-wealthy people live in the U.S.

Top 20 Countries With the Most Ultra-Wealthy Individuals

New data from the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report shows that there was an “explosion of wealth” last year.

The global population of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) grew by 46,000 to a record of 218,200. The report notes that UHNWIs benefited from a surge in the value of financial assets last year.

These increases are more than double the increases recorded in any other year this century. – Global Wealth Report 2022

The majority of ultra-wealthy individuals already reside in the United States, but 2021 saw a staggering increase of 30,470 people bring added to this exclusive ultra-wealthy category in the country.

Country/regionNet Worth of $50–$100MNet Worth of $100M–$500MNet Worth of $500M+
🇺🇸 United States103,66935,7401,726
🇨🇳 China20,01311,4111,282
🇩🇪 Germany6,0523,354318
🇨🇦 Canada3,4721,912123
🇮🇳 India3,0241,750210
🇯🇵 Japan3,3731,41188
🇫🇷 France3,2371,31485
🇦🇺 Australia2,9471,576109
🇬🇧 United Kingdom2,7871,278110
🇮🇹 Italy2,5741,253103
🇰🇷 South Korea2,4501,319117
🇷🇺 Russia2,1341,488253
🇨🇭 Switzerland2,11598792
🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR1,7901,139127
🇸🇪 Sweden1,8661,01976
🇹🇼 Taiwan1,87491293
🇪🇸 Spain1,50966651
🇧🇷 Brazil1,23874995
🇸🇬 Singapore97457073
🇳🇱 Netherlands1,10047128

China and India will likely see their ultra-wealthy populations increase dramatically, but still have a long way to go before catching up to the United States.

The biggest increases, aside from the U.S., were China (5,200), Germany (1,750), Canada (1,610), and Australia (1,350).

Decreases in UHNWI populations were more rare, but did occur in a few cases. United Kingdom (-1,130), Turkey (-330), and Hong Kong SAR (-130) saw the biggest drops.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2022

Data note: All amounts in USD

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Ranked: The Top Cyberattacks Against Businesses

Recent research provides insight into the top cyberattacks that businesses faced in 2021. See the results in this infographic.

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Ranked: The Top Cyberattacks Against Businesses

Cyberattacks hit a record high in 2021, continuing the momentum that had developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. One reason for this increase is the shift to remote work, which has opened up new vulnerabilities. Home networks are typically less secure, and the rapid rise in the use of online services means security is falling behind.

In this graphic sponsored by Global X ETFs, we’ve visualized survey results showing the 10 most successful types of cyberattacks in 2021.

The Results

These results are from a 2021 whitepaper by Osterman Research, a market research firm focused on cybersecurity. They surveyed 130 cybersecurity professionals from mid and large-sized organizations to see which types of attacks were the most prominent.

Type of AttackPercentage of respondents (%)
Business email attack was successful in tricking a lower-level employee53%
Phishing message resulted in a malware infection49%
Phishing message resulted in an account being compromised47%
Domain name was spoofed to perpetrate phishing campaigns38%
Ransomware was detected before it could be activated34%
Business email attack was successful in tricking a senior executive28%
Domain name impersonation resulted in a third-party being compromised16%
Phishing message resulted in a ransomware infection14%
A ransomware attack was successfully launched10%
A ransomware attack rendered internal IT systems non-operational10%

Source: Osterman Research (2021)

The report notes that these figures may be understated because organizations are likely to downplay their security incidents. Organizations may also lack the capability to detect all types of cyberattacks.

The Impact of Phishing Attacks

Phishing refers to an attack where the perpetrator pretends to be a trusted entity. These attacks can be carried out over email, text message (SMS), and even social media apps. The goal is often to trick the victim into opening a malicious link.

According to the whitepaper, opening malicious links can result in credential theft or ransomware infections. Credential theft is when attackers gain access to internal systems. This is incredibly dangerous, as it allows attackers to commit fraud, impersonate company officials, and steal data.

A powerful tool for preventing credential theft is multi-factor authentication (MFA). This method requires users to provide multiple verification factors to access a resource (instead of a single password).

The Threat of Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of cyberattack that involves blackmail, often for financial gain. For ransomware to be successfully planted, attackers must first gain access to a company’s networks.

Access can be gained through phishing, as discussed above, or alternate means such as compromised software updates. One such attack impacted over 57,000 Asus laptop owners in Russia after hackers created a malicious update tool on an official Asus server.

Cybercriminals have become increasingly ruthless in how ransomware attacks are executed.
– Osterman Research

Researchers have warned that ransomware attacks are becoming more dangerous and sophisticated. In addition to locking organizations out from core systems, hackers are also stealing data to increase their leverage. If a ransom is not paid, the stolen data may be published or even sold to the highest bidder.

Under Siege

The rising frequency and sophistication of cybercriminal activity is a major threat to the world.

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Risks Report, ransomware attacks have increased by 435% since 2020. Furthermore, there is an estimated shortage of 3 million cybersecurity professionals worldwide.

To catch up, businesses and governments are expected to increase their spending on cybersecurity over the next several years.

The Global X Cybersecurity ETF is a passively managed solution that can be used to gain exposure to the rising adoption of cybersecurity technologies. Click the link to learn more.

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