1.6 billion Workers could lose jobs as the result of COVID-19 pandemic


Informal sector workers are more vulnerable in this crisis


Nearly 1.6 billion workers out of total world work force of 3.3 billion facing the danger of losing jobs and livelihood as the result of Covid-19 pandemic, a new report released by ILO has revealed. The governments around the world forced to impose restrictions and lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus and to avoid deaths.    
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that some 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy are in 'immediate danger' of losing their livelihoods. The informal economy refers to any labour that isn't monitored by the government and where the workers don't pay tax, such as restaurant staff, cleaners and street vendors. Nearly two billion workers globally work in informal sector, which is more than 65% of the total world labour force.
COVID-19 pandemic has devastated impact on economies, incomes and jobs. The numbers of deaths and infections are on the rise. The lockdowns and restrictions have severely affected the economic activities. 
  
ILO Director General Guy Ryder told the media that “it shows I think in the starkest possible terms that the jobs employment crisis and all of its consequences is deepening by comparison with our estimates of 3 weeks ago. There will be massive poverty impact as the result of lost employment. The wages of the world's 2 billion informal workers already plunged by an estimated global average of 60% in the first month that the crisis unfolded in each region”.   
He stressed that Informal workers are the most vulnerable of the 3.3 billion global workforce, lacking welfare protection, and access to good healthcare, or the means to work from home. “For millions of workers, no income means no food, no security and no future. Millions of businesses around the world are barely breathing. 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.” 

The ILO said prolonged lockdowns and office and plant closures are now expected to lead to an 'even' worse fall in total working hours worldwide in the second quarter than what was forecast just three weeks ago. Worst-hit sectors are manufacturing, accommodation and food services, wholesale and retail trade, travel and tourism, real estate and business activities.
Total working hours in the second quarter are expected to be 10.5 percent lower, equivalent to 305 million full-time jobs, than the last pre-crisis quarter, the ILO said, with biggest declines forecast for the Americas, Europe and Central Asia.
The previous ILO estimate on April 7 was 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 ILO report mentioned.
                                                Rukhsana Manzoor Deputy Editor

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