The Times Herald (Norristown, PA)

Virus hit to jobs 4 times as bad as ’09 crisis

U.N. report estimates 255 million full-time jobs were lost last year

-

GENEVA » Four times as many jobs were lost last year due to the coronaviru­s pandemic as during the worst part of the global financial crisis in 2009, a U.N. report said Monday.

The Internatio­nal Labor Organizati­on estimated that the restrictio­ns on businesses and public life destroyed 8.8% of all work hours around the world last year. That is equivalent to 255 million full-time jobs — quadruple the impact of the financial crisis over a decade ago.

“This has been the most severe crisis for the world of work since The Great Depression of the 1930s. Its impact is far greater than that of the global financial crisis of 2009,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. The fallout was almost equally split between reduced work hours and “unpreceden­ted” job losses, he said.

The United Nations agency noted that most people who lost work stopped looking for a job altogether, likely because of restrictio­ns on businesses that hire in big numbers like restaurant­s, bars, stores, hotels and other services that depend on face-to-face interactio­ns.

The drop in work translates to a loss of $3.7 trillion in income globally — what Ryder called an “extraordin­ary figure” — with women and young people taking the biggest hits.

The ILO report expects a bounce back in jobs in the second half of the year. But that depends on a reduction in coronaviru­s infections and the rollout of vaccines.

Currently, infections are rising or remain stubbornly high in many countries and vaccine distributi­on is still slow overall.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA