Off late, the whole world is trying to recuperate from one of the biggest threats of the century. Something called COVID-19 has turned the world upside down, which has started rippling serious effects everywhere including unemployment in COVID 19.
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder has warned people that invasion of corona in our lives, is an economic and social menace too, besides being a medical debacle.
It is imperative to have a look at the following figures:
- As per ILO estimates, around 25 million people can lose their jobs.
- There can be a general loss in the worker’s income of as much as USD 3.4 trillion.
- The COVID-19 crisis can wipe out around 6.7 percent of global work hours.
- Different income-groups will undergo various kinds of loss in incomes, but the blow will be severe for the middle-income groups.
The above figures represent a grim state of affairs, keeping way behind, the 2008-09 financial crisis. The sectors, which should be ready to face the brunt with greater severity are the food services, accommodation and housing, retail, business, and administration activities.
The eventual deterioration in the rate of employment will become clearer only by the end of 2020. Future developments and various policy measures will be able to bring a change in the figures, maybe. But the bad news is, be prepared to witness a higher end-of-year figure, than the initial projection of ILO.
A detailed perspective on the unemployment scenario due to COVID 19
1. Relationship with workers
There has been a disruption faced by the entire world economy. UN Labour body has already predicted unemployment of 195 million jobs due to COVID 19 all around the world.
Reports suggest that 4/5th of the global labor force, are affected by partial or full lockdown measures. ILO and the UN are suggesting some measures to reduce the rate of unemployment.
They are urging people to stay connected with their jobs, that they are no longer able to do. What the employers do now to maintain the relationship between the workers and the organizations will go a long way.
Excellent employee and employer relationships will have better dividends when it is about the gradient of recovery, in the end, part of the year.
2. Workers in the informal sector
The workers belonging to the informal sector will need constant income support to meet only the necessities. Interestingly or unfortunately, in this case, the casual workforce accounts for around 61% of the global number of working people.
According to Ryder again, there are countless people who cannot enjoy the very normal social protections which come along with formal employment status.
3. The sorry state of affairs in India
The complete lockdown in India has forced many migrant workers to face a dilemma. They have to stop working, go home and stay there till situations are restored to normal.
Initiatives like technical unemployment, partial unemployment, and short-working time, will help the workers to stay connected with their jobs.
The present scenario
Guy Ryder mentioned that the global unemployment loss due to COVID 19 was already standing at 190 million, at the start of 2020.
With the sudden inception of the coronavirus, there will be a staggering fall as a result of its direct effects.
Following are the number of unemployment sectors wise due to COVID 19:
- Food and accommodation- 144 million
- Business services and administration- 157 million.
- Retail and wholesale-482 million
- Manufacturing-463 million.
New studies suggest that high-risk sectors employ around 1.25 billion workers. The increased number of layoffs, wage reductions, shortening of working hours, and other problems have given prominence to a huge amount of shocking aftereffects.
At this point in time, only large-scale and exhaustive measures will be able to provide a better solution to unemployment that occurred due to COVID 19.
Following are the four main pillars:
- Enhanced social dialogues between the government, the employers, and the workers. The inputs from all these sectors can only help in bringing in a solution.
- The enterprises should be supportive for both employment and stable incomes.
- There should be a greater stimulation of the jobs and the economy.
- The protection of the workers should be of utmost concern.
An impending recession
COVID-19 is about to give eminence to a worldwide recession. Unprecedented and all-inclusive monetary and fiscal policies will be needed to prevent a continuing recession. The government is also taking steps to protect businesses and employers also.
The enterprises should guarantee the workers of their incomes. The vulnerable lot will be the ones needing maximum support and cooperation.
Workers leading from the frontline
As the government, in every country, is trying the best to flatten the curve of infection, there should also be special measures to protect the health care workers.
People are serving in the essential services department like the police, the defense personnel, the paramedical staff, and other health workers, delivery agents, and every other COVID-19 warrior needs our support.
They should also receive special protection from the government, not only physical but also monetary. If they are affected, their families will be the worst hit.
With WHO reporting no impending medical remedy, situations are not looking good. A record number of Americans have filed for unemployment. Australia’s unemployment has soared to 10% with reports pouring in for it to move into recession very soon.
When such is the picture, there are bound to be job cuts and high rates of firing. It is only a matter of time to gauge which country deals with these, better.