Covid-19: 255 Million Full-Time Jobs Loss Recorded In 2020…As ILO predicts uncertain future

The International Labour Organization (ILO) says 8.8 per cent of global working hours were lost for the whole of last year (relative to the fourth quarter of 2019), equivalent to 255 million full-time jobs. According to the ILO, this is approximately four times greater than the number lost during the 2009 global financial crisis.
The latest analysis of the labour market impact of COVID-19 by the ILO records massive damage to working time and income, with prospects for a recovery in 2021 slow, uneven and uncertain, unless early improvements are supported by human-centred recovery policies. The ILO, however, noted that tentative signs of recovery were emerging in global labour markets, following unprecedented disruption in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new annual estimates in the seventh edition of the ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work, confirm the massive impact that labour markets suffered in 2020.
The ILO said the lost working hours were accounted for either by reduced working hours for those in employment or “unprecedented” levels of employment loss, hitting 114 million people.
“Significantly, 71 per cent of the employment losses (81 million people) came in the form of inactivity, rather than unemployment, meaning that people left the labour market because they were unable to work, perhaps because of pandemic restrictions, or simply ceased to look for work. Looking at unemployment alone drastically understates the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market,” the report said.
The international labour body said the massive losses resulted in an 8.3 per cent decline in global labour income (before support measures were included), equivalent to $3.7 trillion or 4.4 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP).
The study reflected that women have been more affected than men by the pandemic’s labour market disruptions. Globally, employment losses for women stood at 5 per cent, against 3.9 per cent for men. It said, women were much more likely than men to drop out of the labour market and become inactive.
Younger workers were also particularly hard hit, either losing jobs, dropping out of the labour force or delaying entry into it. The employment loss among youth (15-24 years old) stood at 8.7 per cent, compared to 3.7 per cent for adults. This “highlights the all too real risk of a lost generation,” the report stated.

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