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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The global adoption of remote work may leave the rising powers in the East behind.

The big picture: Despite India's and China's economic might, these countries have far fewer remote jobs than the U.S. or Europe. That's affecting the emerging economies' resilience amid the pandemic.

Driving the news: 16% of jobs in China and 12% of jobs in India can be done remotely, per a new McKinsey Global Institute analysis of 800 jobs across several nations. Compare that with the 33%, 30% and 29% of jobs that be done from home in the U.K., Germany and the U.S., respectively.

  • That's because a huge share of jobs in India and China are in in-person sectors, like manufacturing, agriculture and retail, Susan Lund, one of the report's authors, tells me.
  • And even though the majority of jobs in the U.S. and Europe are also in-person jobs, these countries are much likelier to pursue a remote-heavy future of work than their Eastern counterparts.

What's happening:

  • "India has definitely taken a big, big hit because most people simply can’t work from home," says Bhaskar Chakravorti, dean of global business at Tuft's Fletcher School of Business. The country's GDP growth rate fell more than 23% between Q2 2019 and Q2 2020.
  • China's economic recovery has been quite successful. But its low share of remote-capable jobs could hurt its future capacity to compete on the global stage, especially if teleworking proves to boost worker productivity as early studies have indicated.
    • "In the end, the geopolitical contest between China and the world is going to be a contest for productivity and GDP growth," says Jonathan Ward, founder of the Atlas Organization, a consultancy focused on Chinese and Indian national strategy. "The ability to make productivity gains with remote work could potentially put the West at an advantage."

Worth noting: Even when jobs can theoretically be done from home in India or China, it often doesn't work that way in practice, Chakravorti says.

  • In the big cities in those countries, people may be living in close quarters or without reliable broadband access — factors which require professionals to go into their offices to be productive.

The bottom line: Says Chakravorti, "This is going to be quite a turning point in terms of these countries' ability to bounce back."

Go deeper

John Kerry: U.S.-China climate cooperation is a "critical standalone issue"

President Biden's special climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. must deal with China on climate change as a "critical standalone issue," but stressed that confronting Beijing's human rights and trade abuses "will never be traded" for climate cooperation.

Why it matters: The last few years have brought about a bipartisan consensus on the threat posed by China. But as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, China will be a vital player if the world is going to come close to reining in emissions on the scale needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

Updated 48 mins ago - Sports

Experts predict major boom for North American sports stadiums

Rendering of the $375 million Moody Center on the UT-Austin campus. Photo courtesy of Moody Center

Stadium and arena construction in North America will total a relatively tame $5.8 billion this year, a 12% decrease from 2021.

The big picture: What the industry lacks in construction it expects to make up for in design, with experts predicting a sports venue boom over the next half-decade, SBJ reports.

Updated 49 mins ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

The latest: “I can’t comment on specific pieces of intelligence. But we’ve been warning about just this kind of tactic for weeks and we’ve spoken to that publicly," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.