Series “COVID-19 Crisis: Consequences for the Labour Market”

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March 2020: The coronavirus pandemic is shaking the global economy. Cross-country supply chains are breaking down within a matter of time, the worldwide demand for goods and services is plummeting, stock markets are crashing. In Europe, one country after the other is closing its borders.
The consequences cut to the quick not least the German export industry – including the domestic automotive industry which is shutting down production completely. But unlike in the financial and economic crisis of 2008/2009, this crisis also hits the domestic service sector with full force: As a consequence of the politically decreed shut down, many shops must close, unless they provide basic consumer goods and services. Many are threatened by insolvency. Germany and the global economy are plunging into a deep recession. It is, however, still not clear how severe this recession will be and how long it will last.
Politics, on the other hand, is trying to put up some resistance. The German government is launching giant aid packages. For instance, it is granting massive financial support to threatened companies and is paying short-time allowance of an unprecedented scale. At the same time, however, the consequences for the labour market are obvious – an immense challenge also for the IAB, which is currently confronted with many questions that are essential for the future: How robust will the labour market prove to be? Are we threatened with mass redundancies? Which sectors are particularly affected? How effective are the political measures? What lessons can be learned from the coronavirus crisis for economy and labour market? With this series, the IAB will try to provide some answers.

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