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Jorge Alvarez and Carlo Pizzinelli
This paper documents the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns on the Colombian labor market using household micro-data. About a quarter of employment was temporarily disrupted at the height of the first pandemic-induced lockdown in 2020. Women, the young, and the less educated were the most affected groups. Since then, a remarkable recovery, led by a rebound in informal employment, has taken place. By adjusting both employment levels and hours faster, the informal sector acted as an important margin of adjustment, particularly in those industries most affected by the first lockdown. The informal sector also appears to have played a role in decreasing the sensitivity of aggregate employment to more recent lockdowns in 2021, as the economy has learned to cope with pandemic restrictions, although the possibility of higher informality rates becoming embedded remains an substantial downside risk for long-term productivity.
Jorge Alvarez and Carlo Pizzinelli

This paper documents the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns on the Colombian labor market using household micro-data. About a quarter of employment was temporarily disrupted at the height of the first pandemic-induced lockdown in 2020. Women, the young, and the less educated were the most affected groups. Since then, a remarkable recovery, led by a rebound in informal employment, has taken place. By adjusting both employment levels and hours faster, the informal sector acted as an important margin of adjustment, particularly in those industries most affected by the first lockdown. The informal sector also appears to have played a role in decreasing the sensitivity of aggregate employment to more recent lockdowns in 2021, as the economy has learned to cope with pandemic restrictions, although the possibility of higher informality rates becoming embedded remains an substantial downside risk for long-term productivity.

Jorge Alvarez and Carlo Pizzinelli

IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management. Abstract This paper documents the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns on the Colombian labor market using household micro-data. About a quarter of employment was temporarily disrupted at the height of the first pandemic-induced lockdown in 2020. Women, the young, and the less educated were the most affected groups. Since then, a remarkable recovery, led by a rebound in informal employment, has taken place. By adjusting both employment levels and hours faster, the informal sector acted as an

Vizhdan Boranova, Raju Huidrom, Ezgi O. Ozturk, Ara Stepanyan, Petia Topalova, and Shihangyin (Frank) Zhang

production of certain car models, and reduce the number of shifts of their workers. 2 The goal of this paper is to assess the broader macroeconomic effects of the pandemic-induced lockdowns on the auto sector . It seeks to quantify the spillovers that affect and originate from the auto sector in the context of the pandemic and understand how those spillovers are transmitted via supply chain linkages. In particular, we address the following questions: ■ How interconnected is the European auto industry—both in terms of supply and demand linkages? ■ How important

Vizhdan Boranova, Raju Huidrom, Ezgi O. Ozturk, Ara Stepanyan, Petia Topalova, and Shihangyin (Frank) Zhang
The auto sector is macro-critical in many European countries and constitutes one of the main supply chains in the region. Using a multi-sector and multi-country general equilibrium model, this paper presents a quantitative assessment of the impact of global pandemic-induced labor supply shocks—both directly and via supply chains—during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic on the auto sector and aggregate activity in Europe. Our results suggest that these labor supply shocks would have a significant adverse impact on the major auto producers in Europe, with one-third of the decline in the value added of the car sector attributable to spillovers via supply chains within and across borders. Within borders, the pandemic-induced labor supply shocks in the services sector have a bigger adverse impact, reflecting their larger size and associated demand effects. Across borders, spillovers from the pandemic-induced labor supply shocks that originate in other European countries are larger than those that originate outside the region, though the latter are still sizable.

Labor Market Impact from COVID-19 and the Uneven Recovery About a quarter of total employment was disrupted at the height of pandemic-induced lockdowns, pushing the unemployment rate above 20 percent. Women, the young, and those with low education in informal employment were most affected, as policy transfers helped cushion but did not fully offset the impact. A strong rebound took place in the second half of 2020 led by informal employment growth, which aided adjustment in the economic sectors most affected by the pandemic. Formal employment dynamics and

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Selected Issues
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

’s economic fundamentals remain robust, and the economy is recovering vigorously from the COVID-19 shock. We continue to implement sound economic and financial policies while carrying out structural public policies to boost the resilience of the economy and make growth more broad-based and inclusive. After suffering the worst economic shock in a century amid pandemic-induced lockdowns, Panama’s outlook for 2021 and the medium term is optimistic. We remain committed to implementing the economic and financial policies described in the Written Communication of January 5, 2021

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Macroeconomic vulnerabilities have declined since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The economy is expected to rebound swiftly in 2021 as activities return to normality and the population is increasingly vaccinated. External imbalances are contained. The fiscal position is gradually consolidated as the authorities remain committed to the revised fiscal rule, which will ensure a declining path for the NFPS debt. The outlook remains subject to elevated risks, including uncertainties arising from possible more contagious variants of the COVID-19 virus. Domestic risks include setbacks in implementing the FATF action plan to exit the grey list, delays in fiscal consolidation, and a prolonged pandemic that could exacerbate socioeconomic hardship and derail economic policies and the recovery.