More than a billion workers are vulnerable to job losses or sharp wage cuts because of measures to lockdown economies and fight the spread of the coronavirus, according to the Geneva-based International Labour Organisation (ILO).
By the second quarter of 2020, working hours around the globe are expected to drop a further 6.7%, equal to 195 million of the world’s 3.3 billion workforce, the ILO, a United Nations agency, said.
Governments around the world have ordered non-essential businesses to shut, or operations to be curbed and for people to stay at home.
The impact has already reached about 38% of the global workforce the ILO said.
The ILO says it is “the most severe crisis” since World War Two.
It adds that the eventual increase in global unemployment during the course of 2020 will depend largely on two factors:
How quickly the world economy recovers in the second half of the year
How effectively policy measures will boost the demand for labour
There is a high risk that the end-of-year worldwide unemployment figure will be much higher than an initial ILO projection of 25 million people.