Reducing COVID-19 impact on Employment using AI/Machine Learning
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered one of the worst jobs crises in memory, worse even than the global financial crisis of 2008. Public Employment Services urgently need to find solutions that can reduce the impact of the pandemic. If not, poverty will increase, and inequalities will widen, with the economic effects felt for years to come.
The impact of COVID-19 on jobs
At the end of October, Trading Economics painted a bleak picture of the impact of COVID-19 on the Euro area:
We expect the Unemployment Rate in the Euro Area to be 9.60 percent by the end of this quarter […] Looking forward, we estimate the Unemployment Rate in the Euro Area to stand at 9.00 in 12 months. In the long-term, the Euro Area Unemployment Rate is projected to trend around 8.80 percent in 2021 and 8.40 percent in 2022.
Countries like Spain, with an economy largely dependent upon tourism, have suffered an even steeper decline. Unemployment as a percentage of the working labor force is currently around 16%. Without intervention, the OECD predicts this could rise to almost 20% by the end of the year and exceed 25% in 2021.
The Trading Economics predictions represent a 2-1/2 year high for unemployment in the Eurozone. Even if the recently announced COVID-19 vaccines arrive before the New Year, the economic consequences of this rise in unemployment are dramatic.
COVID-19 compared with the global financial crisis of 2008
Not everyone remembers the impact of the global financial crisis, but this BBC article provides a useful summary:
A decade ago, the global financial crisis saw plunging markets, collapsing banks, and big names disappearing from the High Street.
The human cost was profound – 10 years of low wages, public sector cuts, and hard times.
But referring to the impact of COVID-19, a recent OECD report states:
The impact on jobs has been ten times bigger than that of the global financial crisis.
Without urgent intervention, the consequences of COVID will damage nations’ economies for many years to come.
The role of Public Employment Services (PES)
Worldwide, Public Employment Services (PES) face their greatest ever challenge in reducing the pandemic’s impact. Many commercial companies are already reducing their personnel, especially as government furlough schemes wind down. Entire industries such as tourism, entertainment, hospitality, and cultural centers are struggling. Simultaneously, the number of open vacancies has decreased, as the economic turbulence means that employers are cautious about taking on new personnel.
Governments urgently need to take the initiative, and help their Public Employment Services to manage, control, and revive national labor markets. Without this, the economic impact will be immeasurable. The time they take to introduce these initiatives is crucial. Delays will inevitably have a significant financial impact.
With more than 20 years of experience in the employment domain, WCC understands these challenges. WCC delivers employment solutions that enable PES to stimulate recovery and help reduce the impact of the pandemic.
WCC employment solutions
WCC enables government services and agencies to manage and control the labor market by:
- Prioritizing jobs for specific unemployed groups
- Improving matching between jobseekers and employers
- Delivering up-to-date labor market analyses
- Creating Active Labor Market Policies (ALMPs) that intervene in the labor market to assist the unemployed.
Our Employment Platform and Smart Search & Match Solutions enable jobseekers to find suitable and sustainable jobs. WCC AI / Machine Learning technology and our ability to create localized taxonomies help match jobseeker capabilities to demand far more accurately than traditional keyword searches. Our solutions don’t just bi-directionally match jobseekers with employers but also factor in labor market knowledge and insights to improve the results. We call this value-based matching. Most importantly, this AI-driven approach results in smarter, better fitting, and more sustainable matches.
By combining active labor market policies (ALMPs) with intelligent search and matching, we can help find matches, even when opportunities are scarce.
Perkeso use-case, COVID-19 recovery in Malaysia
Perkeso is a recent example, demonstrating how WCC Employment Solutions can enable new, innovative services. The introduction of the MYFutureJobs portal by Perkeso in June 2020 coincided with the dramatic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Malaysia employment sector. Perkeso has subsequently used the platform to efficiently administer the Government’s Covid-19 Economic Recovery Package. This package includes financial schemes to provide income replacement for workers who lost their jobs, together with wage subsidies. The program also covers employee retention and placement services, including counseling and vocational guidance. More than 250,000 employers have made use of the Wage Subsidy scheme, and nearly 38,000 employers have applied for the Employment Retention program – all effectively administered using WCC Employment Platform Portals.
Countries need to do everything they can to stop the COVID-19 pandemic from causing a long-term social crisis. Creating a better and more resilient labor market is an essential investment in their future economy. We believe that our software solutions can enable a significant improvement in Public Employment Services, helping them to meet their goals.
If you would like more information about WCC’s software solutions, please get in touch. Our sales team and consultants are ready to help – wherever you are in the world.