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100 million more workers pushed into poverty amid pandemic: UN

100 million more workers pushed into poverty amid pandemic: UN

Geneva: The coronavirus pandemic which began a year and half ago has made the world be in a standstill, leaving many people jobless and homeless leading them to poverty.

A recent report by UN's International Labour Organization (ILO) on Wednesday has revealed that the pandemic has now pushed over 100 million more workers into poverty after working hours plummeted and access to good quality jobs evaporated.

ILO cautioned that the labour market crisis created by the pandemic was far from over, with employment not expected to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels until 2023 at the earliest.

According to ILO chief Guy Ryder, Covid-19 has not just been a public health crisis but also been an employment and human crisis.

The ILO's annual World Employment and Social Outlook report indicated that the planet would be 75 million jobs short at the end of this year compared to if the pandemic had not occurred.

And it would still count 23 million fewer jobs by the end of next year.

The report showed that global unemployment was expected to stand at 205 million people in 2022 -- far higher than the 187 million in 2019.

Although many people have held onto their jobs but have seen their working hours cut dramatically.

According to the report, the shortfall in employment and working hours comes on top of persistently high pre-crisis levels of unemployment, labour under-utilisation and poor working conditions.

The ILO also warned that the recovery would be highly uneven although global employment is expected to recover more quickly in the second half of 2021 -- provided the overall pandemic situation does not worsen .

This, it said, was due to inequitable access to Covid-19 vaccines. So far, more than 75 percent of all the jabs have gone to just 10 countries.

The limited capacity of most developing and emerging economies to support strong fiscal stimulus measures will also take its toll, the ILO said, warning that the quality of newly created jobs will likely deteriorate in those countries.

The fall in employment and hours worked has meanwhile translated into a sharp drop in labour income and a rise in poverty.

The report highlighted how the Covid-19 crisis had worsened pre-existing inequalities by hitting vulnerable workers harder.

For many of the two billion people who work in the informal sector, where social protections are generally lacking, pandemic-related work disruptions have had catastrophic consequences for family incomes and livelihoods.

The crisis has also disproportionately hit women, who have fallen out of the labour market at a greater rate than men, even as they have taken on more of the additional burden of caring for out-of-school children and others.

This, the report warned, had created the risk of a "re-traditionalisation" of gender roles.

The ILO chief also remarked that there can be no real recovery without a recovery of decent jobs.

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