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COVID-19: 200 million people to be unemployed in 2022 – International organisation warns

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COVID-19

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has warned that the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic will cause global unemployment of over 200 million people by 2022.

This was contained in the ILO’s ‘World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2021’ (WESO Trends) released on Wednesday, June 2.

Meanwhile, the organisation hinted that the nations would emerge from the ongoing health crisis, “five years of progress towards the eradication of working poverty have been undone” nonetheless.

Speaking more on the report, the ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said: “We’ve gone backwards, we’ve gone backwards big time.

“Working poverty is back to 2015 levels; that means that when the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda was set, we’re back to the starting line.”

The organisation said that women have been hit “disproportionately” by the crisis, seeing a five per cent employment fall in 2020, compared to 3.9 per cent for men.

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“A greater proportion of women also fell out of the labour market, becoming inactive,” ILO said, noting that additional domestic responsibilities had resulted from lockdowns, which risked a “re-traditionalisation” of gender roles.

ILO warned that youth employment has also continued to suffer the economic downturn, falling 8.7 per cent in 2020, compared with 3.7 per cent for adults.

According to it, “The most pronounced fall has been in middle-income countries where the consequences of this delay and disruption to the early labour market experience of young people “could last for years.

“Pandemic-related disruptions have also brought catastrophic consequences for the world’s two billion informal sector workers.

“Compared to 2019, an additional 108 million workers worldwide are now categorised as poor or extremely poor – meaning that they and their families live on the equivalent of less than $3.20 per person per day.”

The Geneva-based organisation said global unemployment will reach 205 million people in 2022, up from 187 million in 2019, projecting a “jobs gap” increase of 75 million in 2021, which is likely to fall to 23 million in 2022 – if the pandemic subsides.

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The organisation added: “The related drop in working hours which takes into account the jobs gap and those working fewer hours amounts to the equivalent of 100 million full-time jobs in 2021 and 26 million in 2022.

“This shortfall in employment and working hours comes on top of persistently high pre-crisis levels of unemployment, labour underutilization, and poor working conditions.”

 

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