The Straits Times says

Press on amid challenges of pandemic

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This May Day, the second that the world is observing after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, is a sombre reminder of the travails and yet resilience of labour in extraordinary times. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), labour markets around the world were disrupted on a historically unprecedented scale last year. Working-hour losses in 2020 were approximately four times greater than during the global financial crisis in 2009. The ILO notes that there are expectations that robust economic recovery will occur in the second half of this year with the rolling out of vaccines against Covid-19. It adds, however, that the global economy still faces high levels of uncertainty. Also, there is a risk that the recovery will be uneven. Cautious optimism is the best there is to hope for.

Here in Singapore, the worst economic effects of Covid-19 last year were contained by job-protection schemes and other ameliorative measures. No one knows what this year will bring, but there is some reason for cheer. The Monetary Authority of Singapore notes that while the outlook for the economy has improved, projected growth outcomes across sectors have become even more lopsided than was predicted previously. Not only has Covid-19 not abated globally, but more contagious strains of it have appeared, putting a dampener on the prospects of sectors such as air transport that are critical to Singapore.

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