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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

Olympics 2021: Comparing Every Sports Ball

Here are the different sizes and weights of each Olympic sports ball used in the Tokyo Olympics.

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Olympics 2021 Comparing Every Sports Ball Preview

The Briefing

  • Table tennis has the smallest sports ball used in the Tokyo Olympics at just 4cm in diameter and 2.7g in weight.
  • The biggest by size is the basketball at 24.35cm in diameter, but the shot is more than 10 times heavier at 7.26kg.

Olympics 2021: Comparing Every Sports Ball

It might be strange having the Olympics in 2021 (an odd year), but 2020 was anything but normal.

After facing a 12-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are set to kick off from July 23 to August 8.

In addition to hosting traditional sports like running and aquatics, some sports are being introduced for the first time (karate, skateboarding) or returning after an absence (baseball).

One thing that many Olympic sports share in common? There are 17 different sports that use balls or spheres of some sort, ranging in size and weight. Here are the different balls used in the Tokyo Olympics.

Olympic Sports Balls by Size and Weight

The 2021 Olympics, which are still officially called the 2020 Olympics to keep the four-year cycle and branding consistent, are hosting 339 events across 33 different sports.

17 of those sports use balls or spheres. The official sizes and weights vary from a small diameter of 4cm for table tennis to the largest ball, a basketball with a diameter of 24.35cm.

SportDiameterWeight
Table Tennis4.00cm2.7g
Golf4.27cm45.93g
Tennis6.70cm57.7g
Field Hockey7.48cm163g
Baseball7.50cm149g
Softball9.55cm177g
Shot Put12.00cm7,260g
Handball (Women’s)17.51cm350g
Handball (Men’s)18.78cm450g
Rhythmic Gymnastics19.00cm400g
Volleyball21.01cm270g
Water Polo (Women’s)21.01cm425g
Beach Volleyball21.33cm270g
Soccer21.96cm432.5g
Water Polo (Men’s)22.28cm425g
Basketball (Women’s)23.24cm538g
Basketball (Men’s)24.35cm608g

Even within the same categories of sports, balls have different size and weight rules based on event or gender. Water polo, handball, and basketball all have slight variations of a few centimeters in diameter and up to 100g in weight for different gender events.

But sorting the balls by weight shows that the shot is far and away the heaviest. At 7.26kg, the shot is more than 10 times heavier than a basketball. That’s because while most sporting balls are made of light material filled with air, shots are typically constructed entirely of metal.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Wired, Official Sport Rulebooks.

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Datastream

Top 50 Companies Proportion of World GDP

The world’s top 50 companies are becoming more valuable, especially compared to global GDP.

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The Briefing

  • The combined market cap of the world’s top 50 companies was proportional to 27.6% of global GDP in 2020, up from just 4.7% of global GDP in 1990
  • Tech’s role continues to grow, now accounting for 21 of the top 50 companies

Top 50 Companies Proportion of World GDP

The world’s top 50 companies have become increasingly more valuable, and more powerful, over time.

As global GDP has grown over the last four decades, from $23.6 trillion in 1990 to $84.5 trillion in 2020, the proportional share of the world’s top companies by market capitalization has grown over five-fold.

YearGlobal GDPTop 50 Companies Market Cap as a % of GDP
1990$23.6T4.7%
2000$34.0T22.1%
2010$66.2T12.7%
2020$84.5T27.6%

Though the world’s top 50 companies change year-to-year, there’s also a lot of overlap.

Which Companies Dominated Each Decade?

2020’s largest company by market cap, Apple at $2.26 trillion, was the third largest company in 2010. Likewise, 2010’s largest company was Exxon Mobil, which was the second largest company in both 1990 and 2000 (but has since fallen off).

The top 50 companies in the world also highlight the increasing role of tech in the modern market. 1990’s largest company IBM was just one of three tech companies that made the ranking that year. Even in 2000, when the world’s largest company was GE, tech companies like Cisco and Microsoft only made up three of the top 10 companies by market cap.

Fast forward to 2020, and tech accounted for 42% of the top 50 companies in the world. It also plays a more prominent role on the high end of the spectrum, as six of 2020’s seven largest companies were tech-based, with only oil giant Saudi Aramco the odd one out.

Though digitization is a primary driver of current economic growth, will these trends remain steady in 10 or more years from now? Or will companies from other booming industries such as green energy take over the leaderboard?

>>Like this? You might find this article interesting, 23 Years of Shifting Tech Market Caps

Where does this data come from?

Source: Bloomberg, IMF.

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