ILO highlights complex employment outlook for 2020

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ILO highlights complex employment outlook for 2020
Guy Ryder
Tue June 30, 2020

According to the latest report from the International Labor organization, the health crisis has generated an even greater impact than originally anticipated


The number of hours of work lost worldwide during the first semester of 2020 was significantly higher than had been estimated, while the highly uncertain recovery in the second half of the year will not be enough to return to levels prior to the pandemic, even in the best of scenarios, and runs the risk of seeing a constant loss of jobs on a large scale, warns the International Labor Organization (ILO).
According to the ILO Observatory: COVID-19 and the world of work. 5th edition, hours of work globally decreased from 14 percent in the second quarter of 2020, equivalent to the loss of 400 million full-time jobs (based on a 48-week workweek). hours). This is a considerable increase compared to the estimates of the previous Observatory (published on May 27), which predicted a decrease of 10.7 percent (305 million jobs).
The new figures reflect the worsening of the situation in many regions in recent weeks, especially in developing economies. At the regional level, the loss of working hours were: Americas (18.3 percent), Europe and Central Asia (13.9 percent), Asia and the Pacific (13.5 percent), Arab States (13, 2 percent) and Africa (12.1 percent). *
The vast majority of the world's workers (93 percent) continue to live in countries with some form of workplace closure, with the Americas experiencing the greatest restrictions.

Second semester of 2020
The new Observatory presents three scenarios for recovery in the second half of 2020: basic, pessimistic and optimistic. He notes that the long-term outcome will depend on the future trajectory of the pandemic and on the political decisions of governments.
The base model - which assumes an upturn in economic activity in line with current forecasts, the lifting of restrictions in the workplace and the recovery of consumption and investment - foresees a decrease in the loss of hours of 4.9 percent job (equivalent to 140 million full-time jobs) in relation to the fourth quarter of 2019.
The pessimistic scenario assumes a second wave of the pandemic and the return of restrictions, which would slow recovery significantly. As a consequence, there would be a decrease in working hours of 11.9 percent (340 million full-time jobs).
The optimistic scenario assumes that workers' activities will resume quickly, significantly boosting aggregate demand and job creation. With this exceptionally fast recovery, lost work hours would decrease to 1.2 percent (34 million full-time jobs).

The impact on women
The Observatory further notes that women workers have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, creating the risk that some of the modest progress in gender equality achieved in recent decades will be lost and that gender inequalities related to work become more acute.
The serious impact of COVID-19 on women is related to its over-representation in some of the economic sectors most affected by the crisis, such as the hotel, restaurant, retail and manufacturing industries. Globally, almost 510 million (40 percent) of all employed women work in the four most affected sectors, compared to 36.6 percent of men.
Women also predominate in the domestic work, healthcare and social services sectors, where they are at greater risk of losing their income, infection and transmission, and are less likely to have social protection. The uneven distribution of unpaid care work before the pandemic has also worsened during the crisis, exacerbated by the closure of schools and care services.

Next week the ILO convenes a World Summit on COVID-19 and the world of high-level virtual work. I hope that governments, workers and employers will take this opportunity to present and listen to innovative ideas, discuss lessons learned and come up with concrete plans to work together and implement a high-employment, inclusive, equitable and sustainable recovery. . All of us must advance in the challenge of building a better future of work, said Guy Ryder, General Director of ILO.


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