Being called the “worst crisis since World War II,” the coronavirus is set to wipe out 6.7 percent of working hours across the globe in the second quarter, or the equivalent to 195 million full-time workers’ full weeks, according to the United Nations, CNBC reported.
This is a sharp rise from even the previous International Labor Organization (ILO) prediction of 25 million jobs lost due to the virus’ displacement of normal life and work.
Now, the ILO predicts worse — it’s looking like an even higher number of jobs will be lost as the pandemic has increased in scope and hit harder than was previously forecasted. Virus cases have risen six-fold since the first report, with more than 1.5 million global cases and more than 88,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The UN said the deciding factor in the final numbers of global unemployment will be whether the economy can bounce back in any way in the second half of this year, and if policy measures taken by various governments can strengthen demand for work.
The ILO said 38 percent of people, or 1.25 billion worldwide, are facing high risks due to the nature of their occupation, with layoffs, pay cuts and less hours all possibilities that could send negative fiscal effects spiraling down through the economy.
Retail trade, accommodation and food services, along with manufacturing, will likely face the highest risks, the ILO said. Another 2 billion people working in less-developed countries doing more informal work are also at risk of losing those jobs, the report stated.
The ILO’s solution? As before, it recommended sweeping and decisive action that does its best to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, with a focus on the highest-risk jobs and fields.
Right now, full or partial lockdown measures have affected around four of every five workers worldwide, or 2.7 billion out of the 3.3 billion working people around the globe.