Pandemic Repercussions on Jobs Worse than Expected: UN
As the world recovers from COVID-19, the disparities in said recoveries lead to a worse impact on jobs internationally, with high-income countries suffering a lighter loss.
The International Labour Organization said Wednesday the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on jobs was "worse than expected." The UN labor watchdog also expressed its concern regarding the stark disparity between advanced and developing economies in terms of recovering from the pandemic.
The ILO is projecting that global hours worked in 2021 will be 4.3% below those in the fourth quarter of 2019 - the last quarter before the pandemic - which amounts to 125 million full-time jobs.
The ILO Monitor, titled "COVID-19 and the world of work" this year, warned of a "great divergence" between developed and developing countries.
Total hours worked in low-income countries was 5.7% lower than that in 2019, while it stood at 7.3% in lower-middle-income countries.
Europe and Central Asia saw the smallest gap in terms of loss in hours - 2.5%. Asia and the Pacific came in second with a 4.6% loss.
The rest of the world saw different figures, for Africa had a decline of 5.6%, the Americas saw a 5.4% decline, and Arab States had the highest gap that amounted to 6.5%.
The disparities come due to the differences in rolling out vaccinations and fiscal stimulus packages, for without vaccines, the loss in hours worked globally in the second quarter of 2021 is projected to have been 6% instead of the recorded 4.8%.
The agency estimated that had low-income countries had more equitable access to vaccines, their working-hour recovery would have caught up with richer economies in just over one quarter.
The ILO asserted that these imbalances could be rapidly addressed through greater global solidarity in respect of vaccines.
Onto fiscal stimulus: The ILO said it had a pivotal role in terms of recovery, but that gap remains unaddressed, with around 86% of all measures being in high-income countries.
An increase amounting to 1% of a country's annual GDP increased annual working hours by 0.3% on average in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2019.
The ILO had previously estimated that the work hours lost in 2021 would be equivalent to 100 million full-time jobs lost, so the new projection was very shocking for the UN agency and the world.