Last in After COVID-19: Employment Prospects of Youths during a Pandemic Recovery
Shireen AlAzzawi and Vladimir Hlasny
How is the evolving COVID crisis affecting workers’ employment outcomes? Using the ERF COVID-19 MENA Monitors for Egypt and Jordan (July ‘20–September ‘21), we estimate probabilistic models of workers’ employment statuses and of their job loss. We confirm that the stringency of COVID regimes affects negatively employment and labor participation, particularly among youths, even if they were not disadvantaged before. Workers’ preexisting status affects their outcome amid COVID, implying strong state dependence of employment. Those laid off amid COVID are predominantly those without formal employment before the pandemic. During the easing of COVID regimes between the fall of 2020 and mid-2021, men’s employment prospects gradually improved, but women experienced a stagnation by being largely excluded from work opportunities irrespective of COVID developments. Youths of both genders are affected more adversely than non-youths during the pandemic, face higher risks of getting laid off, and lower prospects of becoming employed—supporting the ‘last in’ hypothesis.