With 81% of the world’s workforce facing implications in terms of losing jobs due to COVID-19, India’s informal workforce is likely to fall deeper in poverty. More than 400 million people face poverty and unemployment in India.
ILO’s Report: Rising Poverty and Unemployment
International Labor Organization described the coronavirus pandemic as the world’s worst crisis since World War II. In a report titled ‘ILO Monitor 2nd edition: COVID-19 and the world of work’, it revealed that the world is facing catastrophic consequences. Further, it predicted that the pandemic will bring a loss of about 6.7% of working hours globally in the second quarter of this year.
Greatest Test for Cooperation
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder stated that pandemic is affecting the economic affairs of both developing and developed nations severely. Hence, countries need to focus on working together and act decisively. Further, he added that this is the greatest test for cooperation in the last 75 years and all the countries must work on providing solutions that cater to all segments of the society, especially for the most vulnerable section. Also, he indicated the construction of a safer, fairer and more sustainable future through the right measures. Besides, he advised the governments to work to limit the impact of the pandemic.
Impact on Informal Workers
The report added that the number of affected informal workers in India is substantial. Around 40 crore people in India are likely to face penury challenges amid lockdown imposed by the Indian government. The Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy (CMIE) said the unemployment rate in India was 23.4% in the week ended 5 April. Further, it said that while the urban unemployment rate was 30.9%, the rural rate was over 20%.
Unemployment and Poverty Go Hand in Hand
The UN labor body stated that job loss is rising rapidly globally. However, countries like Africa and India, having a high level of informality along with high population density, is at a greater risk. Also, accommodation and food services, manufacturing, retail, and administrative activities are high-risk sectors.
In all, ILO has warned the nations including India of huge losses in working hours and earnings.