The pandemic caused an “unprecedented” hit to the global economy, destroying the equivalent of 225 million full-time jobs, the United Nations said.
The crisis caused an 8.8% drop in working hours – four times more than followed the 2008 financial crisis.
The UN said looking at job cuts alone “drastically” understated the damage. It also warned recovery remains uncertain, despite hope vaccines will spur an economic rebound.
Working hours in 2021 are likely to remain 3% lower than they were in 2019, or roughly 90 million full-time jobs, predicts the report, by the UN’s International Labor Organization. But it cautioned the downturn could be worse, if vaccine distribution is slow and global governments do not provide the economic stimulus expected.
ILO’s director-general said, “The signs of recovery we see are encouraging, but they are fragile and highly uncertain, and we must remember that no country or group can recover alone.”