Covid 19 pandemic created labour crisis is far from over and the global unemployment is expected to stand at 205 million people in 2022. Moreover, the employment growth would not be sufficient to make up for the losses suffered until 2023, according to a new assessment — World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2021 by the International Labour Organisation.
Stating that working poverty is back to 2015 levels, ILO Director General Guy Ryder said, “we’ve gone backwards, we have gone backwards big time.”
The assessment points out that Latin America, the Caribbean, Central Asia and Europe are the worst affected regions in the first half of 2001 All these regions saw an estimated working hour loss exceeding eight per cent in the first quarter and six per cent in second quarter. The ILO said that these exceeded the global average of 4.8 and 4.4 respectively.
However, the ILO estimates global employment recovery to accelerate in the second half of 2021 if the COVID 19 pandemic situation does not worsen further. The report also points out that the recovery will be uneven, due to unequal vaccine access and the limited capacity of most developing and emerging economies to support strong fiscal stimulus measures.
The ILO estimates that Covid 19 hit women the hardest. It calculated a five per cent employment fall in 2020, compared to 3.9 per cent for men. The labour organisation also noted that a greater proportion of women fell out of the labour market, becoming inactive. This happened as the pandemic gave women additional domestic responsibilities.
Employment among youth continued to be affected, falling 8.7 per cent in 2020, compared to 3.7 per cent for adults. Middle-income countries saw a larger hit on youth employment.
3.20 dollar per day
The ILO notes that an additional 108 million workers comes under category “poor” or “extremely poor”. This means that they live on the equivalent of less than 3.20 dollars per person, per day.
The trends 2021 S pointed out that jobs gap increased to 75 million in 2021. This may fall to 23 million in 2022 if the pandemic subsides.
“This shortfall in employment and working hours comes on top of persistently high pre-crisis levels of unemployment, labour underutilisation and poor working conditions,” ILO said. The ILO report maintains that that although global employment recovery should accelerate in the second half of 2021, it will likely be an uneven recovery.
NON UNIFORM IMPACT
The ILO estimates that there was disparity between workers with higher skill levels and lower skilled people. The Higher skilled people were less affected by employment loss as they benefited from options working remotely.
The migrant workers experienced the worst unemployment. Most of them lost employment. Some even suffered because of non-payment or delayed payment of wages. Quite often, they also lacked access to social protection benefits that could make up for their income losses. IN destination countries, sectors reliant on seasonal migrant struggles to maintain their workforce because of wide spread travel restrictions. The decline in remittance negatively affected countries of origin.
ILO Director general Guy Ryder stressed that recovery from COVID-19 was not just a health issue. “The serious damage to economies and societies needs to be overcome too. 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” he said.
“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 added.