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COVID impact on jobs: Unemployment will increase to 207 million in 2022, says ILO

COVID impact on jobs: Unemployment will increase to 207 million in 2022, says ILO

COVID impact on jobs: Unemployment will increase to 207 million in 2022, says ILO
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By CNBCTV18.com Jan 18, 2022 6:01:11 PM IST (Updated)

The long and uneven shadow of COVID-19 looms over the global labour market recovery. While Europe and North America are showing signs of bounce-back, South-East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean are languishing.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations body mandated with labour standards, has recently downgraded its outlook for the labour market recovery in 2022. The organisation stated that it expects unemployment to increase to 207 million in 2022, up from 186 million in 2019. Total working hours in 2022 are also expected to remain 2 percent below pre-pandemic levels.

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“This outlook represents a substantial deterioration since the projections made in June 2021 when the shortfall in working hours relative to the fourth quarter of 2019 was projected to narrow to less than 1% in 2022,” the ILO stated in its report, ‘World Employment and Social Outlook -- Trends 2022.’
The downgrade in the employment outlook mostly comes as a result of the resurgent COVID-19 wave across the globe. The impact of the Omicron and Delta variants, in particular, on work has cast uncertainty over the rest of the year. The report also states that the worker groups are being affected differently across regions and groups, which is further exacerbating inequality.
As a result, global recovery is also following different trajectories. Europe and North America are showing good signs of recovery while regions like South-East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean have shown negative trends. Labour market recovery also seems to be highest in high-income countries, while lower-middle-income seems considerably worse off.
“Two years into this crisis, the outlook remains fragile and the path to recovery is slow and uncertain. We are already seeing potentially lasting damage to labour markets, along with concerning increases in poverty and inequality. Many workers are being required to shift to new types of work -- for example in response to the prolonged slump in international travel and tourism,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.
“There can be no real recovery from this pandemic without a broad-based labour market recovery. And to be sustainable, this recovery must be based on the principles of decent work -- including health and safety, equity, social protection and social dialogue,” Ryder added.
 
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