Nations must make a concerted effort to create good quality jobs as we come out of lockdown, or risk extending this “unparalleled” employment crisis, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has warned.
In its new World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2021 report, the United Nations’ agency noted that 140 million working hours were lost in the first quarter of this year followed by 127 million in the second quarter.
Had the pandemic not occurred, it is estimated that 30 million new jobs would have been created in 2020 but instead millions were lost.
This has created a shortfall of work from which the world will not recover until at least 2023, the ILO warned.
Its report said that “all countries have suffered a sharp deterioration in employment and national income, which has aggravated existing inequalities and risks inflicting longer-term ‘scarring’ effects on workers and enterprises”.
Further, the largest burden has fallen on the shoulders of the most vulnerable, including 2 billion in insecure workers, women and young people.
“To make matters worse, many of the newly created jobs are expected to be of low productivity and poor quality,” the report said.
ILO Director, Guy Ryder, urged countries to make a concerted effort to ensure the work that is created during the recovery from the virus provides decent security and wages. Otherwise, “the lingering effects of the pandemic could be with us for years in the form of lost human and economic potential and higher poverty and inequality”.