May Day. Pandemic Effect on the Global Workforce.

Labor Day is also known as May Day and is a public holiday in many countries across the world. It usually occurs around May 1, but the date can vary.  St. Joseph the Worker is the patron saint of this day and he is well needed to be called upon during this pandemic of 2020.

                                                                         

A total of 81% of the global workforce of 3.3 billion people have had their workplace fully or partly closed.

Restrictions on daily life have led to the closure of many companies and the laying off of staff – either permanently or temporarily.

The International Labour Organization (ILO), an agency of the United Nations, has been looking at the global impact with a series of charts.

Their work shows the global scale of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Workers and businesses are facing catastrophe, in both developed and developing economies,” said ILO director general Guy Ryder.

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

 

Nearly 200 million people could end up out of work

The outbreak is expected to wipe out 6.7% of working hours across the world during the second quarter of 2020.

That is the equivalent of 195 million full-time workers losing their jobs.

                                           

The ILO says it is “the most severe crisis” since World War Two.

It adds that the eventual increase in global unemployment during the course of 2020 will depend largely on two factors:

  • How quickly the world economy recovers in the second half of the year
  • How effectively policy measures will boost the demand for labour

There is a high risk that the end-of-year worldwide unemployment figure will be much higher than an initial ILO projection of 25 million people.

The continued sharp decline in working hours globally due to the COVID-19 outbreak  means that 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy – that is nearly half of the global workforce – stand in immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed, warns the International Labour Organization.

The first month of the crisis is estimated to have resulted in a drop of 60 per cent in the income of informal workers globally. This translates into a drop of 81 per cent in Africa and the Americas, 21.6 per cent in Asia and the Pacific, and 70 per cent in Europe and Central Asia. Without alternative income sources, these workers and their families will have no means to survive.
                             

Urgent policy measures needed:

The ILO calls for urgent, targeted and flexible measures to support workers and businesses, particularly smaller enterprises, those in the informal economy and others who are vulnerable.

“For millions of workers, no income means no food, no security and no future. […] As the pandemic and the jobs crisis evolve, the need to protect the most vulnerable becomes even more urgent.”

Measures for economic reactivation should follow a job-rich approach, backed by stronger employment policies and institutions, better-resourced and comprehensive social protection systems. International co-ordination on stimulus packages and debt relief measures will also be critical to making recovery effective and sustainable. International labour standards, which already enjoy tripartite consensus, can provide a framework.

“As the pandemic and the jobs crisis evolve, the need to protect the most vulnerable becomes even more urgent,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “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, these enterprises will simply perish.”

Categories News