The Organization's global salary report shows, in the first half of 2020, "downward pressure on the level or rate of growth of average salaries in two-thirds of countries" for which recent data is available, says the ILO.
It also specifies that "in other countries, the average wage has increased in a largely artificial way, reflecting the consequent job cuts which have affected low-paid workers".
Still according to the ILO, "in the near future, the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis on the economy and on employment should lead to enormous downward pressure on wages".
It calls for “appropriate and balanced wage policies, developed within the framework of a social dialogue that is both in-depth and inclusive” to “contain the effects of the crisis and support economic recovery”.
Women affected "disproportionately"
The report also shows that the crisis has not had the same consequences for men as for women, the latter being affected "disproportionately".
Based on a selection of 28 European countries, the report estimates that, without the payment of wage subsidies, the total wage bill would have fallen by 6.5% between the first and second quarters of 2020: 8.1% for women , and 5.4% for men, a gap which is “above all the consequence of the reduction in hours worked.
The crisis has also disproportionately affected low-paid workers, worsening pay inequalities, says the ILO.
In some European countries, “without wage subsidies, half of the lowest paid workers would have lost around 17.3% of their wages” compared to 6.5% for all workers.
The role of the States hailed
But the temporary wage subsidies, introduced or extended to save jobs, have "enabled many countries to partially offset the fall in the wage bill and mitigate the effects of the crisis on wage inequalities," explains the ILO.
On a sample of 10 European countries for which data are available, the report estimates that wage subsidies have made it possible to “offset 40% of the losses in terms of the total wage bill.
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According to the ILO, the consequences of the pandemic will “be felt in the long term and there is a lot of turbulence and uncertainty.
“The arrival of vaccines is not only the condition for economic recovery.