The International Labor Organization (ILO) said the loss of working hours in 2021 due to the pandemic will be much higher than previously estimated, as the difference in the recovery speed among developed and developing countries threatens the global economy as a whole.
The ILO now expects global working hours in 2021 to be 4.3% below pre-pandemic levels, the equivalent of 125 million full-time jobs, representing a dramatic revision to the ILO’s June forecast of 3.5% or 100 million full-time jobs.
The total hours worked in high-income countries decreased by 3.6% in Q3 of 2021 from the Q4 of 2019 (pre-pandemic), while the gap in low-income countries recorded 5.7% and in lower-middle-income countries at 7.3%.
The ILO stated that Europe and Central Asia experienced the lowest loss of working hours, compared to pre-pandemic levels (2.5%), followed by Asia and the Pacific with 4.6%. In Africa, and the Americas and Arab countries a decrease of 5.6%. and 5.4% and 6.5% was seen, respectively.
Losses in Global working hours would have stood at 6.0% in Q2 of 2021, without any vaccines, instead of the 4.8% already recorded.
“The crisis has also affected productivity, workers, and organizations in ways that have led to greater inequalities. The productivity gap between developed and developing countries is expected to widen from 17.5:1 to 18:1 in real terms, the highest ratio recorded since 2005,” ILO concluded.