The labor market outcomes of COVID-19 in developing countries are just starting to be thoroughly investigated. Given that the state capacity to sustain jobs through retention schemes is much more reduced than in high-income counterparts, the capacity to work from home is much scarcer, it would not be correct to extrapolate results from other countries in different legal and economic environments. Beyond that, research in high-income countries has already shown that the pandemic has disproportionately affected women and young adults. The former have had disproportionate increases in their household work and childcare hours, while the latter have been affected at their early career stages.
To examine these issues in Uganda, the researchers collected high-frequency phone data between January 2020 and September 2021. With it, they found that even after the end of the first lockdown, as recovery was already on its way and men were re-entering their jobs, women suffered a gender gap of 20 percentage points in terms of employment. This gap persisted, and thus 18 months after the beginning of the outbreak, 10 per cent of women previously employed had left the labor market, while 35 per cent solely remained occasionally employed. Read the detailed Working Paper here.