1.6 billion informal workers in danger of losing their jobs: International Labour Organization

Nearly 1.6 billion informal workers, representing almost half of the global labour force, are in immediate danger of losing their livelihoods due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday. Total working hours in the second quarter are expected to be 10.5% lower, equivalent to 305 […]

Nearly 1.6 billion informal workers, representing almost half of the global labour force, are in immediate danger of losing their livelihoods due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday.

Total working hours in the second quarter are expected to be 10.5% lower, equivalent to 305 million full-time jobs, than the last pre-crisis quarter, the ILO said, with the biggest declines forecast for the Americas, Europe and Central Asia.

ILO had estimate on April 7 that disruptions would wipe out labour equivalent to the effort of 195 million workers, or 6.7% of hours clocked worldwide.

About 436 million enterprises – businesses or self-employed – face “high risks” of disruption, the agency added.

Already, wages of the world’s two billion informal workers plunged by an estimated global average of 60% in the first month that the crisis unfolded in each region, the ILO said.

Informal workers are the most vulnerable of the 3.3 billion global workforce, lacking welfare protection, access to good healthcare, or the means to work from home, it stressed.

“For millions of workers, no income means no food, no security and no future. Millions of businesses around the world are barely breathing,” said Guy Ryder, director general of ILO. “They have no savings or access to credit. These are the real faces of the world of work. If we don’t help them now, they will simply perish,” he added.

According to ILO, the worst-hit sectors are manufacturing, accommodation and food services, wholesale and retail trade, and real estate and business activities.

“The eventual increase in global unemployment over 2020 will depend substantially on how the world economy fares in the second half of the year and how effectively policy measures will preserve existing jobs and boost labour demand once the recovery phase begins,” it added.

Source Article

Lois C. Ferrara

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