2.7 Billion Workers Impacted By Coronavirus, But That’s Just the Tip of the Iceberg

  • A new study from the International Labor Organization reveals the staggering rate of global unemployment.
  • Over 2.7 billion workers are currently unable to work due to the coronavirus crisis.
  • Projected workforce losses are expected to far exceed the 2008-09 financial crisis.

According to a new study from the UN’s International Labor Organization (ILO), 2.7 billion people are currently unable to work due to the global pandemic occurring.

A total 3.3 billion people are in the workforce, so it’s staggering that 2.7 billion are currently out of employment.

That is more than four out of five people – globally – impacted by employer closures in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The study also details that the virus crisis is expected to erase nearly 7% of working hours around the world. That’s equal to 195 million full-time workers.

Source: ILO

Massive reductions are already being experienced in Arab countries, which have lost 8% – equaling to five million full-time workers. Losses across Europe, Asia, and the Pacific equal to 137 million full-time employees.

Worse before it gets better?

The study also foretells that by the end of the year, unemployment could be “significantly higher” than the original projection of 25 million unemployed in the U.S. estimated by the ILO.

They specify that the figure of unemployed workers depends on how the pandemic transpires and what measures are taken to lessen its impact.

According to Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the ILO:

Workers and businesses are facing catastrophe, in both developed and developing economies… We have to move fast, decisively, and together. The right, urgent, measures, could make the difference between survival and collapse.

The ILO also calls the coronavirus pandemic “the worst global crisis since World War II”. Roughly 1.25 billion workers are employed in sectors considered as high risk of “drastic and devastating” rises of layoffs and reduction of both wages and working hours.

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