COVID-19: 255 million full-time workers lost jobs in 2020 – UN

File photo of United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres

The United Nations has said that 255 million full-time workers lost their jobs in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, called for accelerated action on jobs and social protection to avoid an uneven global recovery and prevent future crises.

Worried about the situation and to avoid further loss of jobs, the UN chief will convene leaders today to mobilise action. “An estimated 8.8 per cent of total working hours – equivalent to the hours worked in one year by 255 million full-time workers – were lost in 2020,” he said. “Because of the pandemic, there are an estimated 75 million fewer jobs in 2021 than there were before the crisis, and 23 million fewer projected in 2022. This corresponds to a loss of US$3.3 trillion in labour income before government support.”

To achieve a job-rich recovery and a just transition to a sustainable and inclusive economy, Guterres called for a “global accelerator for jobs and social protection that would create at least 400 million jobs and extend social protection to 4 billion women, men and children currently without coverage.” “To achieve this goal, the policy brief entitled “Investing in Jobs and Social Protection for Poverty Eradication and a Sustainable Recovery” recommends several actions:

“Develop integrated national and inclusive recovery strategies for decent job creation, especially in the care and green sectors, universal social protection, and a just transition, and ensure they are aligned with macro-economic and fiscal policies and underpinned by sound data. “Expand investment in Social Protection Floors as a percentage of GDP in national budgets. Design policy measures to extend social protection to workers in the informal economy, and to foster the progressive formalization of enterprises and employment, including in the care economy”, The statement added.


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