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ILO calls for urgent and large-scale policy responses from governments

30 May 2020 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Stresses need for ‘employment-rich recovery’
  • Decline in work activity in 1Q20 uneven across regions
  • Prospects for 2Q20 remain dire

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) called for urgent and large-scale policy responses from governments across the world so that the long lasting damage to young people in terms of education, training, and labour market prospects can be prevented.


The ILO stressed that governments need to provide comprehensive solutions to the current challenges by combining elements from all four pillars of the ILO policy framework to respond to the COVID19 crisis.


“Policy interventions targeting young people should be introduced within comprehensive, inclusive and forward-looking employment policy frameworks, including the effective implementation of employment/skills guarantees, linked to broader stimulus and recovery packages,” the ILO said in its latest report.


The agency highlighted the need to bring about and sustain an ‘employment-rich recovery’ where the same should be facilitated by further testing and tracing of infections. This effort should be carried out along with careful monitoring of the impact of the crisis on enterprises and workers in the sectors most affected, including those in the informal economy, the agency added.


The ILO noted that given the potential for change in the structure of the economy in the post-COVID-19 period, support should be channeled to sectors that are able to create decent and productive employment.


The latest publication by the ILO revealed that the estimated decline in work activity in the first quarter of 2020 is uneven across regions.


While the number of hours worked in the first quarter of 2020 declined by 6.5 percent in Asia and the Pacific, driven by an 11.6 percent decrease in East Asia, all other major regions experienced decreases of 3 percent or less in the first quarter. 


According to the international agency, this labour market pattern is closely related to the timing of outbreaks and the introduction of physical distancing measures in different regions of the world.


Global patterns in hours lost in 1Q20 are driven to a great extent by the exceptional impact of the COVID19 crisis in China during that quarter and the prospects for 2Q20 remain dire.


The ILO revealed that as at 17 May 2020, estimates indicate that working hours will decline in the current quarter (2Q20) by around 10.7 percent relative to the last quarter of 2019. This is equivalent to 305 million full-time jobs.

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