On Wednesday, ILO Director-General Guy Rider announced the findings of the agency’s flagship Global Wage Report, which is published every two years.
According to the report, the covid-19 pandemic had slowed or reversed a trend of rising wages across the world, hitting women workers and the low-paid hardest.
"It's going to be a long road back and I think it's going to be turbulent and it's going to be hard," he said in a press release on Wednesday.
Except for China, most of the world would take a considerable period of time to get back to where it was before the pandemic.
“The aftermath is going to be long-lasting and there is a great deal, I think, of turbulence and uncertainty,” Mr. Ryder said. “We have to face up to the reality, at least a strong likelihood that… as wage subsidies and government interventions are reduced, as they will be over time, that we are likely to face continued downward pressure on wages.”
But he added that it was unlikely and in many ways undesirable that the world should simply try to return to how it was before the coronavirus struck.
"This pandemic has revealed in a very cruel way, I have to say, a lot of the structural vulnerabilities, precariousness, that is baked into the current world of work. And we need to take the opportunity - it's almost indecent isn't it, to speak of opportunity arising out of this mega global tragedy of the pandemic? - but we do have to extract from it, the types of opportunities that allow us to think about some of the fundamentals of the global economy and how we can, in the bounce back process, make it function better," head
The Global Wage Report showed how the pandemic has put pressure on wages, widening the gap between top earners and low-wage workers, with women and the low-paid bearing the brunt.
After four years when wages grew on average, by 0.4-0.9 per cent annually in advanced G20 economies and 3.5-4.5 per cent in emerging G20 economies, wage growth slowed or reversed in two-thirds of countries for which recent data was available.