ILO Headquaters in Geneva, Switzerland

How workers lost $3.5trn wages amid pandemic worldwide: UN

*Coronavirus ‘impact has been catastrophic’, as global labour income has shrunk by 10.7 percent during the first nine months of 2020, says ILO chief Guy Ryder

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus pandemic is fast taking a heavier toll on jobs than previously feared, with hundreds of millions of jobs lost and workers suffering a “massive” drop in earnings.

The UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO), in a fresh study Wednesday, September 23, 2020, discovered that by the mid-year point, global working hours had declined by 17.3 percent compared to December 2019, equivalent to nearly 500 million full-time jobs, agency report said.

Workforces were found to have lost nearly 100 million more job-equivalents than the number forecast by the ILO back in June, when it expected 14 percent of working hours to be lost by the end of the second three-month period of the year.

ILO chief Guy Ryder, in a virtual briefing, told reporters that “the impact has been catastrophic.”

Ryder pointed out that global labour income had shrunk by 10.7 percent during the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2019.

According to the UN Labour body, that amounts to a drop of some $3.5 trillion, or 5.5 percent of the overall global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Since surfacing in China late last year, the novel Coronavirus has killed nearly one million people worldwide out of the more than 31 million infected, according to AFP.

Besides the health challenges, lockdowns, travel restrictions, and other measures taken to rein in the virus also have had a devastating impact on jobs and income across the globe, report stated.

The ILO also warned that the outlook for the final three months of 2020 had “worsened significantly” since its last report in June.

The organisation had previously forecast that global working hours would be 4.9 percent lower in the fourth quarter than a year earlier, but said it now expected an 8.6 percent drop, which corresponds to 245 million full-time jobs.

It explained that workers in developing and emerging economies, especially those in informal jobs, had been much more affected than in past crises.

The ILO as well noted that while many of the most stringent workplace closures have been relaxed, 94 percent of the world’s workers were in countries where some sort of workplace restrictions remains in place.

Kindly Share This Story