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Equivalent of 255 Million Jobs Lost in 2020, and Still Now, Says ILO

June 14, 2021 (EIRNS)—The International Labor Organization at the beginning of June published the latest in its periodical reports on the global workforce during the pandemic, “World Employment and Social Outlook, Trends 2021.” It has found that as of the end of March 2021, some 115 million fewer people were working around the world than were employed, in any manner, in 2019. This increase in outright unemployment is 3.5% of the worldwide labor force. But the loss of work since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic at the end of 2019, is considerably larger. The ILO concluded that “the equivalent of the hours worked in one year by 255 million full-time workers” had been lost to pandemic-triggered unemployment and underemployment. This likely means that as of the end of March, many more than 250 million workers—or 7.5% of the entire worldwide workforce—had lost at least some of their work.

As of the end of the third quarter of 2020, the ILO estimate of lost work was equal to the employment of 550 million full-time workers. So some lost work has resumed, but the loss of income and food security has been disastrous, especially in North and East Africa and Southwest Asia.

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