Coronavirus job losses creating 'lockdown generation,' United Nations group warns

Coronavirus job losses creating ‘lockdown generation,’ UN group warns

The Americas, meanwhile, jumped from being the least affected region in labor market terms in the first quarter to being the most affected, with an expected 13.1 percent drop in working hours in the second, ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, told a briefing.

According to the "ILO Monitor: Covid-19 and the World of Work", youth are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and the substantial and rapid increase in youth unemployment seen since February is affecting young women more than young men.

The rise for young women - from 7.5 per cent to 29 per cent in the same period - was even greater.

The University of Chicago's Becker Friedman Institute anticipates that 42 percent or 11.6 million job loss through April 25 due to the pandemic can become permanent.

'As we recover from the pandemic, a lot of young people are simply going to be left behind.

Before the crisis, more than 40% of young people were working in hard-hit sectors such as accommodation, food services and retailing.

These disruptions will put a major strain on young people's ability to enter the workforce when pandemic restrictions lift, Ryder stressed.

ILO chief Ryder says that a recovery with people getting back to work also means promoting sustainable solutions and getting people working again in safe conditions. However, for young men, it increased by 14.3 percentage points (to 27.1 percent) and for young women, it rose by 20.4 percentage points to 28.4 percent.

It was "worrisome" that the US labor market remained "difficult" while other countries easing lockdowns had started to see modest recoveries, said the director of its Employment Policy Department, Sangheon Lee.

In the United Kingdom, unemployment jumped by 50,000 to 1.35million in the three months to March.

ILO has said that it does not have enough data to determine the overall youth unemployment rate since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Even those still in employment have suffered an average cut to their hours of nearly one-quarter, hammering millions more workers' earnings and quality of life.

The prospects for the second quarter of 2020 remain dire, with the latest ILO estimates revealing a decline in working hours of around 10.7pc relative to the last quarter of 2019, which is equivalent to 305m full-time jobs, assuming a 48-hour working week and using the updated baseline.

It found that around half of students expect their education to be delayed, while 10 percent now believe they will be unable to complete their training at all.

To support youth, the Geneva-based organization called for urgent, large-scale and targeted policy responses, including broad-based employment and training guarantee programs in developed countries, and employment-intensive schemes and guarantees in low- and middle-income economies.

'If their talent and energy is sidelined by a lack of opportunity or skills it will damage all our futures and make it much more hard to re-build a better, post-COVID economy, ' Ryder warned.

The report also says that rigorous testing and tracing of infections strongly translates to lower labour market disruption than do confinement and lockdown measures.

In addition, testing and tracing can itself create new jobs, even if temporary.

Countries with an effective testing and tracing programme, such as South Korea, tended to have lower duration and severity of confinement and lockdown measures, which reduces the economic toll of these measures, the study said.



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