The lag in global employment recovery is threatening to “entrench” inequalities between higher income countries and developing nations, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).
Citing the eighth edition of the ILO Monitoring: Covid-19 and the World of Work report, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said global hours worked this year will be 4.3 percent below the fourth quarter of 2019, which serves as their pre-pandemic benchmark.
“That is equivalent to 125 million full-time jobs,” Ryder said in a virtual press conference last Wednesday.
ILO said this was a “dramatic revision” of its forecast last June of 3.5 percent of 100 million full-time jobs.
Ryder blamed the new waves and variants of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) as well as the slower than expected recovery of the international economy for the revision.
He said the impact of both factors was minimized for developed countries since they have greater access to Covid-19 vaccines and fiscal stimulus packages compared to developing nations.
The ILO official said there is now a high risk that said inequalities between developed and developing countries will persist without the necessary intervention.
“The pandemic exacerbated inequalities between countries as well as within them and that there is now a significant risk that these inequalities will become entrenched, which is quite the opposite of building back better,” Ryder said.
To address the matter, ILO is pushing for equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines and financial support.
ILO will also be convening a major multilateral policy forum next year to “promote international coherence and cooperation” to address the matter.
“Without concrete financial and technical support, the great divergence between developed and developing countries will persist. This is the scenario, we must do everything to avert,” Ryder said.