Key Highlights

  • 4 of 5 workers in global workforce now affected by COVID-19 pandemic
  • Pandemic expected to wipe out 6.7% working hours globally or 195M jobs in Q2 2020

The International Labor (ILO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that aims to promote social and economic progress and labor conditions improvement. With the strong research capacity of this agency, the ILO predicted that the coronavirus would essentially wipe out 6.7% of global working hours or the equivalent of 195M full time workers in Q2 2020.

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The ILO’s initial assessment of jobs lost to the coronavirus was made at a time prior to its infection rate rising six-fold to more than 1,450,000 global cases and nearly 86,000 global deaths caused by the pandemic, according to latest data from John Hopkins University. 

With more than four of five workers globally, or 2.7B of the world’s workforce of some 3.3B people, the ILO described the COVID-19 pandemic as the “worst crisis since World War II.” Guy Ryder, director-general of the ILO, said that both workers and businesses in developing and developed economies were facing “catastrophe.”

Ryder said, “We have to move fast, decisively, and together. The right, urgent measures could make the difference between survival and collapse.”

The ILO estimated that globally, 1.25B or 38% of workers are doing so at high-risk increases in layoffs, pay cuts and working hours and that an additional 2B people work in “informal” working arrangements around the world and likely to be at-high-risk of losing their incomes.

The ILO agency underlined there was immediate need for large-scale, integrated support for people working in the most at-risk sectors of the global economy such as tourism and business accommodations, food services, retail, manufacturing and “informal” arrangements.

Thanks to CNBC’s Vicky McKeever.

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