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COVID-19 created ‘unparalleled’ employment crisis, affected 2 billion people: UN Report

The report said that a 8.8 per cent of working hours were lost which is equivalent to the work done by 255 million full-time workers in an year.

COVID 19
A man going to work on a cycle wearing a COVID/Coronavirus mask - (Photo credit: Xinhua)

New Delhi: The International Labour Organisation (ILO) on Wednesday (June 2) said that the COVID-19 pandemic had crated a crisis in the global labour market which was ‘unparalleled’. In a 164 page report titled ‘ World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2021 report’, the organisation said that almost two billion people in the informal sector were hit by the crisis.

Women, and the young were also left in a lurch during these times.

The report said that a 8.8 per cent of working hours were lost which is equivalent to the work done by 255 million full-time workers in an year.

It added that in the absence of pandemic, the market would have created 30 million jobs in 2021.

Furthermore, the agency said that in the first quarter of 2021, 140 million jobs saw working hours loss of 4.4 per cent. The figure was 127 million for the second quarter.

“The crisis is far from over,” it said.

According to the report, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and Central Asia as the worst affected regions in the first two quarters of 2021.

The report estimated that the second half of the current year would see recovery as vaccination drive picks up pace in countries around the world.

100 million jobs would be created in 2021 followed by 80 million in 2022 but it would still be short of pre pandemic figures.

“To make matters worse, many of the newly created jobs are expected to be of low productivity and poor quality,” the report said.

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In addition, the report found that micro and small enterprises bore the brunt of the pandemic with may of them going bankrupt.

A survey of 4,520 businesses in 45 countries worldwide in the second quarter of 2020 found that 80% of micro-enterprises and 70% of small firms “were facing significant financial difficulties,” the report said.

Guy Ryder, Director General of the ILO said, “Recovery from COVID-19 is not just a health issue. The serious damage to economies and societies needs to be overcome too”.

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