Skopje, 1 June 2020 (MIA) – Over one in six young people surveyed have stopped working since the onset of the COVID‐19 crisis, while for who have remained in employment, working hours have fallen by 23 per cent, International Labor Organization (ILO) data published in the fourth edition of the ILO Monitor shows.
Recent data, the analysis underlines, points to a massive increase in the youth unemployment rate since February 2020, particularly for young women.
Figures show that young people are disproportionately affected by the COVID‐19 crisis, with multiple shocks including disruption to education and training, employment and income losses, and greater difficulties in finding a job.
“At 13.6%, the unemployment rate of young people in 2019 was greater than that of any other group. Even before the crisis, more than 267 million young people were not in employment, education or training (NEET), including almost 68 million unemployed young people,” ILO’s Skopje office said in a press release Monday.
The organization calls for urgent and large-scale policy responses to prevent long-lasting damage to young people in terms of education/training and labour market prospects.
The fourth editions of the ILO Monitor also shows labour market benefits of testing and tracing. Testing and tracing of infections, as recommended by WHO, is strongly associated with lower labour market disruption. ILO estimates suggest that testing and tracing can help to reduce working hour losses by as much as 50 per cent.
Widespread testing and tracing enables countries to better utilize information and rely less on severely restrictive measures (public health policy channel) and, at the same time, helps to generate and maintain the public confidence necessary for economic activity (economic confidence channel). Testing and tracing can also help to minimize disruptions in operations at workplaces (workplace operations channel).
The crisis continues to cause an unprecedented reduction in economic activity and working time, with the latest data confirming the previous estimates of working hours lost. An estimated 4.8 per cent of working hours were lost during the first quarter of 2020 (equivalent to approximately 135 million full-time jobs, assuming a 48-hour working week and using the updated baseline), relative to the fourth quarter of 2019.
This represents a slight upward revision of around 7 million full-time jobs since the third edition of the ILO Monitor, indicating that in the first quarter of 2020 the crisis hit labour markets harder than previously estimated, especially in upper-middle- and high-income countries. The estimated loss of full-time jobs in Q2 remains the same at 305 million.
From a regional perspective, the Americas and Europe and Central Asia present the largest losses in hours worked. In the Americas, the loss of working hours in the second quarter is expected to reach 13.1 per cent relative to the pre-crisis level. In Europe and Central Asia, the decline is estimated at 12.9 per cent.
The ILO Monitor underlines that immediate support on an unprecedented scale needs to be provided to enterprises and workers around the world across the four pillars of the ILO’s policy framework for responding to the COVID‐19 crisis: stimulating the economy and employment; supporting enterprises, jobs and incomes; protecting workers in the workplace; relying on social dialogue for solutions.