The damage caused by the global crisis to Covid-19 now represents around 255 million jobs

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(Bloomberg) – The global economy will not be able to fully repair the damage to jobs last year in 2021 after the Covid-19 pandemic wiped out the equivalent of 255 million jobs, according to the International Labor Organization.

Even under the most optimistic assumptions, working hours will still be lower than pre-crisis levels, the ILO said in a report released on Monday. According to the organization’s baseline scenario, the global economy will end this year with the equivalent of 90 million fewer full-time jobs than before the epidemic.

“The signs of recovery that we are seeing are encouraging, but they are fragile and very uncertain,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “We must remember that no country or group can recover on its own.”

The damage caused by the pandemic in 2020 is unprecedented in history and about four times greater than during the financial crisis of 2009, the ILO said.

Still, the losses in the third quarter were less dramatic than previously estimated, following a strong economic rebound. The 4.6% reduction in working hours in the fourth quarter – or 130 million full-time jobs – was also lower than an earlier forecast.

In a pessimistic scenario, where progress in immunization is slow and the impact of the pandemic prolonged, losses in the labor market will remain at this level in 2021.

The outlook highlights the contrast between the hardest hit sectors, including hospitality, arts and retail, which have suffered ‘massive’ damage, compared to highly skilled service sectors which have even seen a decline. job growth. Women, young people, the self-employed and low-skilled workers have been the most affected, according to the ILO.

There are “serious concerns” that this could translate into an uneven recovery, where “workers and businesses that have been hit hard by the crisis will benefit less from improving economic conditions,” according to the report.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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