ILO: Almost 25M Jobs Could Be Lost Globally

March 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

The Covid-19 pandemic could “increase global unemployment by almost 25 million” according to the initial assessment by the International Labour Organization [ILO].

The report on the International Labour Organization website said, “The economic and labour crisis created by the Covid-19 pandemic could increase global unemployment by almost 25 million, according to a new assessment by the International Labour Organization [ILO].

“However, if we see an internationally coordinated policy response, as happened in the global financial crisis of 2008/9, then the impact on global unemployment could be significantly lower.

“The preliminary assessment note, Covid-19 and the world of work: Impacts and responses, calls for urgent, large-scale and coordinated measures across three pillars: protecting workers in the workplace, stimulating the economy and employment, and supporting jobs and incomes.

“These measures include extending social protection, supporting employment retention [i.e. short-time work, paid leave, other subsidies], and financial and tax relief, including for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. In addition, the note proposes fiscal and monetary policy measures, and lending and financial support for specific economic sectors.

“Based on different scenarios for the impact of Covid-19 on global GDP growth, the ILO estimates indicate a rise in global unemployment of between 5.3 million [“low” scenario] and 24.7 million [“high” scenario] from a base level of 188 million in 2019. By comparison, the 2008-9 global financial crisis increased global unemployment by 22 million.

“Underemployment is also expected to increase on a large scale, as the economic consequences of the virus outbreak translate into reductions in working hours and wages. Self-employment in developing countries, which often serves to cushion the impact of changes, may not do so this time because of restrictions on the movement of people [e.g. service providers] and goods.

“This is no longer only a global health crisis, it is also a major labour market and economic crisis that is having a huge impact on people,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “In 2008, the world presented a united front to address the consequences of the global financial crisis, and the worst was averted. We need that kind of leadership and resolve now.”

You can read the full story here on the ILO website, view all our coverage of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic here, and our continuously updated live blog here.

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