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The pandemic will destroy 125 million jobs in 2021, according to ILO report

The recovery of the global labor market has a difficult scenario due to the continuity of a pandemic that has left millions of jobs lost. The pond in the workplace in 2021 has reflected the great disparity between advanced and developing countries due to factors such as unequal vaccination, warns the International Labor Organization (ILO) on October 27.

The new report from the ILO on the effects of COVID-19 on work worldwide has a pessimistic view of the near future. According to his calculations, By the end of 2021, the equivalent of 125 million jobs will have been lost compared to 2019 (latest figures prior to the pandemic), compared to the 100 million predicted in its previous June forecast.

Vaccination advance

In many developing countries, there is a slow advance in vaccination that prevents a return to work activities. Added to this is the lack of fiscal stimulus measures by these same countries, which do not allow progress in global labor advance, in addition to the divergence between rich and poor countries.

”We had anticipated fragile but stable growth after the devastating impact of the pandemic, but that relative optimism has been erased due to new waves of COVID-19 and a slower-than-expected economic recovery”, Highlighted today the Director General of the ILO, Guy Ryder, when presenting the figures.

The numbers

In the third quarter of 2021, the ILO estimates one job loss equivalent to 136 million jobs compared to 2019, somewhat less than in the second (140 million), but more than in the first (131 million), which reflects the doubtful evolution of the world labor market.

“Unemployment has dropped but inactivity (people who are not looking for work) is still very high, and women and young people continue to be disproportionately affected by job loss,” Ryder analyzed, since in the report he presented it is estimated that, by For every fourteen people vaccinated with the full doses, a new job is created.

At the regional level, the disparity is shown by the fact that, in Europe, the loss of working hours compared to pre-pandemic levels was 2.5% in the third quarter, while in Asia it was 4 , 6%; in Africa it rose to 5.6%; in America, 5.4%, and in the Arab countries, 6.5%.

Likewise, the world organization stressed that the key is in the vaccination rate, because the increase in administered doses has meant a reduction in restrictive measures in the workplace. Of this vaccination rate, 60% belongs to high-income economies and is only 1.5% in the poorest countries, which in employment terms means that, In medium or low economies, almost two-thirds of the 136 million jobs lost or equivalent were registered in the third quarter.

On the other hand, the director of the ILO He did not want to predict when the global market will return to normal. At first it was mentioned that it would be for 2023, but, Due to current figures, it is estimated that it could take longer. Despite this, for the last quarter of 2021, the organization estimates that the equivalent of 94 million jobs will be lost compared to 2019, a lower figure than in previous quarters but still considerable.

This progress will depend a lot on the risk of increasing vaccination problems and factors such as battle necks in industrial production or inflation. Faced with the pessimistic outlook, the head of the ILO called for more efforts to “avoid the current two-speed recovery” with measures such as a better distribution of vaccines in the developed world. “


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