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  • Hello. This is 6 Minute English from

  • BBC Learning English. I'm Neil.

  • And I'm Sam.

  • You and I are lucky, Sam, because

  • we can do our jobs remotely,

  • working from home. There

  • are some downsides, though - like not

  • being able to meet up

  • with friends or share ideas

  • with colleagues.

  • And going out for lunch!

  • But the coronavirus pandemic has caused

  • millions of people to lose

  • their job and forced thousand

  • more out of work temporarily with no idea

  • if their job will still be there when they

  • return.

  • For those daily workers without

  • savings to pay the rent and

  • feed their families it has

  • been especially stressful. Each job loss

  • is a potential personal tragedy.

  • In this programme, we'll be assessing the

  • post-Covid job landscape

  • and asking whether a radical

  • new approach is needed to prevent

  • global mass unemployment.

  • We'll be asking whether one of the

  • world's smallest - and

  • richest - countries, Denmark,

  • might hold the answer.

  • And of course, we'll be learning some new

  • vocabulary as well. But first it's time for

  • our quiz question. One man who knows

  • a lot about jobs is Brad Smith,

  • president of Microsoft,

  • a company employing over 150 thousand

  • workers. He's made gloomy

  • predictions about the number

  • of people out of work - but how many

  • people does he predict will be left

  • unemployed this

  • year as a result of the

  • coronavirus pandemic? Is it:

  • a) one quarter of a billion people?, b) one

  • third of a billion people?, or c) half

  • a billion people?

  • Wow, those numbers do really look

  • gloomy! I'll say b) one third

  • of a billion people

  • unemployed around the world.

  • OK, Sam, we'll come back to that later.

  • Now, mass unemployment - millions

  • of people losing

  • their jobs due to the Covid pandemic - has

  • left the world facing an enormous

  • jobs challenge.

  • Elisabeth Reynolds, of the Massachusetts

  • Institute of Technology, is author

  • of the report 'Work

  • of the Future'. Here she is talking to BBC

  • World Service programme,

  • Business Daily, about

  • the current situation:

  • Well, I think in the short term it does

  • feel like we are not yet in

  • a place where we can

  • talk about recovery and rebuilding

  • completely - we're still gonna

  • see the ramifications,

  • the impact and the ripple effect of all

  • this for months to come.

  • We use the expressions, 'in the long term'

  • and 'in the short term' to talk

  • about what will

  • happen over a long or short period of

  • time. In the short term, - over

  • a short period of

  • time - Elisabeth thinks it's too early

  • to talk about a jobs recovery.

  • She also warns that we haven't yet

  • experienced the full impact or

  • ramifications of the pandemic.

  • Like throwing a stone into water, these

  • consequences create

  • a ripple effect - a situation where

  • one event causes a series of effects

  • which spread and produce further effects.

  • According to Elisabeth, the problem is

  • that many of the government

  • measures put in place

  • to support jobs are not sustainable

  • in the long term. She says

  • more radical change is

  • needed.

  • Of course the big question is - how?

  • One proposed solution is

  • the Danish model. This balances

  • citizens' rights and duties.

  • Denmark provides one of the world's

  • most generous unemployment payouts

  • but in return citizens

  • are expected to commit to any job or

  • training the government thinks

  • would be beneficial.

  • Jacob Kirkegaard, senior fellow at

  • the Peterson Institute in Washington,

  • is himself a Dane.

  • Here he explains to BBC Business Daily

  • how the model works:

  • It's very easy to hire and fire people in

  • Denmark - it doesn't cost

  • you anything and

  • you don't have sort of a guaranteed job

  • for life once you

  • get a permanent contract, which

  • is the situation in many other continental

  • European countries... so

  • it combines labour

  • market flexibility with employment

  • security... namely the idea that people,

  • if they lose

  • their job, they know that they can find

  • another job even if that requires

  • them to pick up

  • new skills ... because that upskilling - or

  • reskilling - is going to be made available

  • to them, partly through very lavish

  • government subsides.

  • Denmark enjoys labour flexibility because

  • it's easy for bosses

  • to hire and fire - employ

  • someone and release them from

  • employment, meaning there's

  • no such thing as a job for

  • life - one that you can stay

  • in all your working life.

  • But citizens also have the security of

  • lavish - generous and

  • expensive - benefits, and the

  • government will also pay for worker

  • upskilling - training to learn

  • new skills making them

  • better at their jobs...

  • ...and thereby preventing unemployment -

  • which reminds me of your

  • quiz question, Neil.

  • Yes, I asked you how many people were

  • predicted to lose their jobs

  • to the Covid pandemic.

  • And I said b) one third of a billion

  • Well, fortunately it's the slightly lower,

  • but still worrying, figure of one quarter

  • of a billion people.

  • We've been discussing predictions of

  • mass unemployment in the

  • short term - or over a

  • short time period, caused by the

  • coronavirus pandemic. It also

  • seems we will be experiencing

  • the ripple effects - series of

  • consequences, of the virus

  • for a long time to come.

  • One solution to mass unemployment may

  • be the Danish model, were

  • the power to hire or fire

  • - employ someone or make them

  • unemployed - means there

  • are not many jobs for life - jobs you

  • can do all your working life.

  • But lavish - expensive and generous -

  • benefits from the government,

  • who also pay for upskilling

  • or training in new skills, means that

  • Danish unemployment is rarely

  • out of control.

  • That's all we have time for, but come back

  • soon for more trending

  • topics and useful vocabulary

  • here at 6 Minute English from

  • BBC Learning English. Bye for now!

  • Bye!

Hello. This is 6 Minute English from

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B1 unemployment billion people denmark short term job pandemic

Coronavirus: Dealing with post-pandemic mass unemployment - 6 Minute English

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/27
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