BUSINESS Over 80 pct of global workforce affected by COVID-19 pandemic: ILO report

BUSINESS

Over 80 pct of global workforce affected by COVID-19 pandemic: ILO report

Xinhua

02:02, April 08, 2020

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Staff members work at the workshop of Jergens Inc., a machining manufacturer in Cleveland, Ohio, the United States, on Aug. 22, 2018. (Photo: Xinhua)

GENEVA, April 7 (Xinhua) -- More than four out of five people, or 81 percent in the global workforce of 3.3 billion are currently affected by full or partial workplace closures due to COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report of the International Labour Organization (ILO) published here on Tuesday.

The ILO's updated report on COVID-19 and the world of work described the pandemic as "the worst global crisis since World War II," expecting the crisis to wipe out 6.7 percent of working hours globally in the second quarter of 2020 -- equivalent to 195 million full-time workers.

While predicting large reductions of working hours in the Arab States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, the report indicated that the sectors most at risk include accommodation and food services, manufacturing, retail, and business and administrative activities.

The report also expected "huge losses" across different income groups, especially in upper-middle income countries (7.0 percent, 100 million full-time workers), which far exceeds the effects of the 2008-9 financial crisis.

"Workers and businesses are facing catastrophe, in both developed and developing economies," said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. "We have to move fast, decisively, and together. The right, urgent measures could make the difference between survival and collapse."

Although the eventual increase in global unemployment during 2020 will depend substantially on future developments and policy measures, the report hinted "a high risk that the end-of-year figure will be significantly higher than the initial ILO projection, of 25 million."


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