Geneva, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 30th Jun, 2020 ) :The coronavirus crisis has taken a much heavier toll on jobs than previously feared, the UN said Tuesday, warning that the situation in the Americas was particularly dire.
In a fresh study, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that by the mid-year point, global working hours were down 14 percent compared to last December — equivalent to some 400 million full-time jobs.
“We are not through this yet,” he warned.
The ILO said the new figures reflected the worsening situation in many regions in recent weeks, especially in developing economies.
Its report pointed out that 93 percent of the world‘s workers live in countries still affected by some sort of workplace closures, with the Americas experiencing the greatest restrictions.
– ‘Worst in the world‘ – The United States and Latin America are currently the areas hardest-hit by the pandemic, which has killed more than 500,000 people worldwide and infected more than 10 million.
Soaring transmission rates in the United States, which alone accounts for a quarter of all infections and deaths globally, and in countries like Brazil, which accounts more than 1.3 million cases, have hit the labour market hard.
South America has shed a full 20.6 percent of all working hours, while North America has seen its working hours dip 15.3 percent, the study found.
Women are more likely to be in the sectors most affected by the crisis and they also bear most of the additional burden brought on by closures of schools and care facilities.
“The stumbling, slow and glacial gains made towards gender equality in recent decades runs the risk of simply being sent into reverse.” The ILO painted three possible scenarios for the second half of the year, but Ryder acknowledged “we cannot see a scenario in which we get back to the starting pont with which we began the year.” The most pessimistic scenarios assumes a second wave of the pandemic that significantly slows recovery. Global working hours would still be 11.9 percent (the equivalent of 390 million jobs) lower at year-end than at the end of 2019, the study said.
That is “still a very, very hard hit on the global economy”, Ryder said.
He called on countries to work together to implement the policies needed to help workers and “build back better”.