Ray of hope seen in global labour markets
MANILA – There are encouraging signs of recovery in global labour markets following the significant job losses triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The International Labour Organization today said labour markets took a major setback according to the 7th Edition of the ILO Monitor entitled COVID-19 and the world of work. The report said 8.8 percent of global working hours were lost for 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 or equivalent to 255 million full-time jobs. The figures are too high compared to the number of jobs lost during the 2009 global financial crisis.
The job losses affected about114 million people where 81 million left the labour market due to their inability to work believed to have been affected by stringent lockdowns or simply ceased to look for work.
The losses in work brought some 8.3 per cent decline in global labour income which is equivalent to US$3.7 trillion or some 4.4 percent of global Gross Domestic Product.
There were more women who lost their jobs with 5 percent as against men with 3.9 percent. Younger workers have also been affected, from losing their jobs to dropping or of the labor force and probably delaying their entry.
The same report said there’s an uneven impact on various economic, geographic, and labour market sectors with a “K-shaped recovery” where sectors and workers hit hardest may be left behind in the recovery which will lead to increasing inequality, unless corrective actions are made.
The report identified the worst affected sector as the accommodation and food services with employment decreased by over 20 per cent on average, followed by retail and manufacturing. Employment in the information and communication, finance insurance increased in the second and third quarters of the previous year.
The vaccine rollout during the second semester of the year will probably lead to strong recovery.
“The signs of recovery we see are encouraging, but they are fragile and highly uncertain, and we must remember that no country or group can recover alone,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. (Melo M. Acuña)