The coronavirus pandemic has led to massive losses in labor income around the world. This is stated in a new study by the International Labor Organization (ILO). Its experts also report on the fiscal stimulus gap that threatens to further widen inequality between rich and poor countries.
In the first three quarters of 2020, labor income of the world's population fell by 10.7 percent, or $ 3.5 trillion. In the second quarter of this year alone, the ILO notes, the number of lost working hours is equivalent to the loss of nearly half a billion jobs. It was expected that this figure would be much lower - about 400 million jobs.
Among the regions of the world, North and South America have suffered the most. There, the labor income of the population decreased by 12.1 percent. In Europe and Central Asia, the figure was 10.6 percent.
The ILO also reports that more women than men are among those who have lost their jobs. For example, in the Republic of Moldova, the unemployment rate among women in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same indicator of the previous year decreased by 10.1 percent, and among men - by 7.7 percent.
The largest losses were in lower-middle-income countries. Their population lost 15.1 percent of their earnings. In rich countries, the loss of labor income was 9 percent.
At the same time, the ILO emphasizes, the authorities of many rich countries have taken effective measures to stimulate the economy, while countries with lower middle income and poor countries do not have the funds to implement such measures in the required volume.
“We must not only redouble efforts to combat the virus, but also urgently take the necessary measures to mitigate the economic, social and labor impact of the crisis. This means supporting businesses, creating jobs and generating income [for the population], ”said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.
He stressed that poor countries and countries with lower middle incomes need financial support from the international community. For example, according to the ILO, 45 billion dollars should be allocated to restore the economies of poor countries - this is only one percent of the total funds spent by rich countries on fiscal stimulus measures.
“New York is hosting the UN General Assembly, and the international community must develop a global strategy for reconstruction based on dialogue, cooperation and solidarity. No country, group of countries or region can overcome this crisis alone, ”Ryder said.