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Labour markets and inflation in the wake of the pandemic

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by Frederic Boissay, Emanuel Kohlscheen, Richhild Moessner and Daniel ReesThe pandemic had a significant effect on labour markets. Working hours fell sharply almost everywhere, but the drivers of these declines varied greatly across countries, depending on whether policies to protect worker-firm relationships were in place. Labour markets have bounced back faster than after recent recessions, ...

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by Frederic Boissay, Emanuel Kohlscheen, Richhild Moessner and Daniel Rees
The pandemic had a significant effect on labour markets. Working hours fell sharply almost everywhere, but the drivers of these declines varied greatly across countries, depending on whether policies to protect worker-firm relationships were in place. Labour markets have bounced back faster than after recent recessions, albeit unevenly. Even in countries where unemployment rates remain high, job vacancies have risen, including in the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. Frictions are most pronounced where policy responses did not protect worker-firm relationships. Wages are generally rising more slowly than before the pandemic. However, there is significant dispersion across sectors. Wages are rising fastest in sectors such as information & communications where the pandemic boosted demand, and also in high-contact sectors such as recreation where labour supply has receded. A generalised pickup in wage growth still seems unlikely, even though some countries and sectors have seen increases. However, a retreat in globalisation could make inflation more responsive to labour market pressures.
International Settlement
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an international company limited by shares owned by central banks which "fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks". The BIS carries out its work through subcommittees, the secretariats it hosts and through an annual general meeting of all member banks. It also provides banking services, but only to central banks and other international organizations. It is based in Basel, Switzerland, with representative offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City.

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