ILO raises global job loss forecast to 305M amid virus

GENEVA – The International Labor Organization (ILO) on Wednesday announced an increase in estimated full-time job losses to 10.5 percent of the world's workforce to 305 million since the beginning of 2020.

The drop was due to "the prolongation and extension of lockdown measures" imposed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the ILO told reporters in a virtual press conference in Geneva.

The ILO also noted that the sharp decline in working hours globally due to Covid-19 meant that 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy -- nearly half the global workforce -- were in immediate danger of losing their livelihoods.

"As the pandemic and the jobs crisis evolve, the need to protect the most vulnerable becomes even more urgent," said ILO-Director General Guy Ryder. "For millions of workers, no income means no food, no security and no future. Millions of businesses around the world are barely breathing.”

The organization called for urgent, targeted and flexible measures to support workers and businesses, particularly smaller enterprises, those in the informal economy and others who were vulnerable.

The organization said that compared to pre-Covid-19 crisis levels in the fourth quarter of 2019, a 10.5 percent deterioration was now expected to have occurred -- the equivalent of 305 million full-time jobs assuming a 48-hour working week.

The previous estimate had been a 6.7 percent drop, which translates to 195 million full-time employees.

Ryder said that on top of losing their jobs, informal workers also had no savings or access to credit.

"These are the real faces of the world of work. If we don't help them now, they will simply perish," said Ryder.

Without alternative income sources, such workers and their families will have no means to survive, he added.

Ryder noted that the first month of the crisis was estimated to have seen a drop of 60 percent in the income of informal workers globally.

That drop translates into a decline of 81 percent in Africa and the Americas, 21.6 percent in Asia and the Pacific and 70 percent in Europe and Central Asia.

Boeing to cut 10% of jobs

In Washington, Boeing said it will reduce its workforce by about 10 percent amid economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

CEO Dave Calhoun said new reductions in production rates and the continued effect of Covid-19 on business is forcing the move.

"We have begun taking action to lower our number of employees by roughly 10 percent through a combination of voluntary layoffs, natural turnover and involuntary layoffs as necessary," Calhoun said in a video message to employees, according to The Hill website.

Boeing, the nation's largest aerospace company, globally employs about 160,000 workers, according to estimates.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 26 million Americans have lost jobs and the layoffs by Boeing will put pressure on the economy.

As well, the US economy shrank 4.8 percent in first quarter from January through March, the biggest decline since the Great Recession.

"Please know that we will do everything we can to minimize that impact, and as we take these steps, we will be as fair and transparent as possible -- and absolutely honest and respectful," said Calhoun.

As of Wednesday, more than 1 million people have been infected and nearly 60,000 have died from Covid-19 in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University in the state of Maryland. (Anadolu)