COVID-19 pandemic forces millions of workers into poverty, says UN

Roman AhmedWeb Editor

02nd Jun, 2021. 11:04 pm

The COVID-19 pandemic has pressed more than 100 million more workers into poverty, the UN said Wednesday, after working hours tumbled and access to good-quality jobs vanished.

UN’s International Labor Organization warned in a report that the labor market catastrophe created by the pandemic was far from over.

Employment was not expected to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels until 2023 at the earliest, it said.

The ILO’s annual World Employment and Social Outlook report specified that the planet would be 75 million jobs short at the end of this year associated to if the pandemic had not arisen.

And it would still have 23 million fewer jobs by the end of next year than would otherwise have been the case.

COVID-19 “has not just been a public health crisis, it’s also been an employment and human crisis”.

“Without a deliberate effort to accelerate the creation of decent jobs, and support the most vulnerable members of society and the recovery of the hardest-hit economic sectors, the lingering effects of the pandemic could be with us for years in the form of lost human and economic potential, and higher poverty and inequality.”

Working hours slashed

The report displayed that global unemployment was expected to stand at 205 million people in 2022 which is far higher than the 187 million in 2019.

But the situation is worse than official unemployment figures indicate.

Many people have held onto their jobs but have seen their working hours cut dramatically.

In 2020, 8.8 percent of global working hours were lost associated with the fourth quarter of 2019 — the equivalent of 255 million full-time jobs.

While the situation has developed, global working hours are far from having withdrawn back, and the world will still be short the equivalent of 100 million full-time jobs by the end of this year, the report found.

Global employment is expected to improve more quickly in the second half of 2021, provided the overall pandemic situation does not worsen.

But that recovery would be highly uneven, due to unfair access to COVID-19 vaccines. So far, more than 75 percent of all the jabs have gone to just 10 countries.

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