Covid pushed more than 100 million workers into poverty

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A new UN report shows that job losses during the coronavirus pandemic have destroyed “five years of progress”. There is no prospect of an end to the crisis arising in the labour market.

Ground Report | New Delhi: A report released on Wednesday by the International Labour Organization (ILO) says that due to the global crisis of Covid, the number of unemployed will increase to 200 million by 2022, and inequality will increase as the number of poor increases. The ILO says that the increase in employment opportunities will not be able to compensate for this loss until the year 2023.

The disruption caused by the Covid epidemic has had a devastating effect on two billion workers working in the informal sector. Compared to the year 2019, an additional 10.80 million workers are now in the category of ‘poor’ or ‘extremely poor’. The organization estimates that by next year global unemployment will increase to 200 million. In 2019, this number was 18 crore 70 lakh.

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The ILO’s 164-page report titled “World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2021” says the labour market crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is not over and employment growth will not be enough to offset the losses until at least 2023.

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Unemployment is increasing poverty

The massive loss of jobs has had a devastating impact on global inequality with women, youth and those working in the informal sector. The report says that employment opportunities for women declined by five per cent in 2020, while for men this figure was around four per cent. “Five years of progress towards eradicating working poverty went in vain,” the report claimed.

The United Nations Labour Agency estimated that around 30 million new jobs could have been created in the world had the pandemic not struck, but the pandemic has left many small businesses insolvent or facing serious difficulties.

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According to the report, the unemployment crisis will deepen due to reduced employment and working hours. The report finds that the COVID-19 crisis has made pre-existing inequalities worse by hitting vulnerable workers hard. The widespread lack of social protection – for example among the world’s two billion informal sector workers – means that pandemic-related work disruptions have devastating consequences for family incomes and livelihoods.

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Globally, youth employment declined by 8.7 percent in 2020, compared to 3.7 percent for adults, with middle-income countries seeing the steepest decline. The consequences of this delay and disruption to young people’s early experience of the labour market can last for years.

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