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More than 100 million workers forced into poverty by Covid-19 pandemic, says UN

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The Covid-19 pandemic has plunged more than 100 million workers into poverty, the UN has said, warning that employment won’t reach pre-pandemic levels again until 2023 at the earliest.

“In 2020, an estimated 8.8% of total working hours were lost – the equivalent of the hours worked in one year by 255 million full-time workers,” the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) said in their publication entitled ‘World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2021’ which was released on Wednesday. 

The report warns that more than 100 million workers have been plunged into poverty since the start of the pandemic, with access to good quality jobs drying up and working hours decreasing. 

The ILO suggested that the global labor market would not return to normal until 2023, with there being 75 million fewer jobs at the end of 2021 than there were at the beginning of the pandemic.

Covid-19 “has not just been a public health crisis, it’s also been an employment and human crisis,” ILO chief Guy Ryder told reporters. 

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Ryder argued that the effects of the pandemic could hang over the global economy for years “in the form of lost human and economic potential, and higher poverty and inequality.”

The report adds that despite rosy outlooks for economic growth in 2021, it is likely that growth would be highly uneven, noting that 75% of Covid-19 shots so far have been administered in just 10 countries.

The ILO added that the limited capacity of governments in under-developed nations to lead much-needed inventions to enhance job creation is likely to prolong the impact of Covid-19.

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