COVID-19 plunges 100 million more workers into poverty - UN | Daily News

COVID-19 plunges 100 million more workers into poverty - UN

SWITZERLAND: The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more than 100 million more workers into poverty, the UN said Wednesday, after working hours plummeted and access to good-quality jobs evaporated.

And the labour market crisis created by the pandemic was far from over, the UN's International Labour Organization warned in a report.

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 indicated that the planet would be 75 million jobs short at the end of this year compared to if the pandemic had not occurred.

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", ILO chief Guy Ryder told reporters.

The report showed that global unemployment was expected to stand at 205 million people in 2022 -- 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 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 -- the equivalent of 255 million full-time jobs.

While the situation has improved, global working hours are far from having bounced 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 recover more quickly in the second half of 2021 -- provided the overall pandemic situation does not worsen.

Compared to 2019, 108 million more workers around the world were categorised as poor or extremely poor, meaning they and their families live on less than $3.20 per person per day, the study showed. Youth employment meanwhile fell 8.7 percent last year -- more than double the 3.7 percent for older workers.