Coronavirus: Economic Impact Impacts Billions Of People

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA
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Just over 80% of the global workforce of 3.3 billion are out of a job due to the impact of coronavirus, according to new data.

The virus has seen workplaces forced to close as governments turn to restricting movement and keeping people at home to try to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Some are only shut until the end of the crisis, but there is no doubt the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak has affected nearly everyone in the world in some way.

United Nations think-tank the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has put together statistics about the impact of the virus.

“Workers and businesses are facing catastrophe, in both developed and developing economies,” said ILO director general Guy Ryder.

Fine line between survival and collapse

“We have to move fast, decisively, and together. The right, urgent, measures, could make the difference between survival and collapse.”

The crisis is on course to wipe out 6.7% of working hours in the second quarter of the year – the equivalent of 195 million full time workers.

“Large reductions are foreseen in the Arab States (8.1%, equivalent to 5 million full-time workers), Europe (7.8%, or 12 million full-time workers) and Asia and the Pacific (7.2%, 125 million full-time workers),” says the research led by ILO Director General Guy Ryder

“Huge losses are expected across different income groups but especially in upper-middle income countries (7.0%, 100 million full-time workers). This far exceeds the effects of the 2008-9 financial crisis.”

Millions of jobs at risk

Most at risk include businesses and jobs in accommodation and food services, manufacturing, retail, and business and administrative activities.

The final unemployment figure worldwide is expected to exceed 25 million, while the at-risk sectors employ 1.25 billion workers.

“This is the greatest test for international cooperation in more than 75 years,” said Ryder. “If one country fails, then we all fail. We must find solutions that help all segments of our global society, particularly those that are most vulnerable or least able to help themselves.”

“The choices we make today will directly affect the way this crisis unfolds and so the lives of billions of people,” he added. “With the right measures we can limit its impact and the scars it leaves. We must aim to build back better so that our new systems are safer, fairer and more sustainable than those that allowed this crisis to happen.”

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