Pandemic to wipe out 100 million jobs in 2021, ILO warns

Geneva, Jun 2 (EFE).- The Covid-19 pandemic will still destroy the equivalent of 100 million full-time jobs in 2021, the International Labor Organization warned in a report published on Wednesday.

Employment growth will not be able to make up for the lost jobs until at least 2023, the report added, pointing out that the so-called ‘jobs gap’ induced by the coronavirus crisis will reach 75 million this year, falling to 23 million a year later.

In its latest findings on how the pandemic will impact the labor market, the ILO lowered its initial forecasts from earlier this year due to the slow pace of vaccination in many countries, which is likely to delay economic recovery, as well as the spread of more dangerous variants.

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

Including employees who have been forced to take on reduced working hours, the total related jobs gap is equivalent to 100 million full-time jobs in 2021 and 26 million full-time jobs 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,” the ILO report found.

Ryder warned: “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.”

In order to spur the job market’s recovery, the ILO recommends governments to invest in sectors that can be a source of decent, well-paying jobs, warning that many of the new jobs created in the expected recovery will be of poorer quality, which will be particularly damaging to the nearly 2 billion workers living in the informal economy.

“We need a comprehensive and coordinated strategy, based on human-centred policies, and backed by action and funding. There can be no real recovery without a recovery of decent jobs,” he said. EFE


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