COVID-19: Most countries will experience strong recovery in the second half of 2021 —ILO

The latest report from the International Labour Organization (ILO) on COVID-19 has given a ray of hope that most countries will experience a relatively strong recovery in the second half of the year, as vaccination programmes take effect.

“While there is still a high degree of uncertainty, the latest projections for 2021 show that most countries will experience a relatively strong recovery in the second half of the year, as vaccination programmes take effect;” the report, seventh edition of the ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work, said.

The Monitor puts forward three scenarios for recovery: baseline, pessimistic and optimistic. The baseline scenario (which draws on International Monetary Fund forecasts from October 2020), projects a three per cent loss of working hours globally in 2021 (compared to Q4 2019), equivalent to 90 million full time jobs.

The pessimistic scenario, which assumes slow progress on vaccination in particular, would see working hours drop by 4.6 per cent, while the optimistic scenario forecasts a 1.3 per cent decline. This would depend on the pandemic being under control and an upsurge of consumer and business confidence.

In all scenarios, the Americas, Europe and Central Asia would experience around twice the working hour losses of other regions.

“The signs of recovery we see are encouraging, but they are fragile and highly uncertain, and we must remember that no country or group can recover alone,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder.

“We are at a fork in the road. One path leads to an uneven, unsustainable, recovery with growing inequality and instability, and the prospect of more crises. The other focuses on a human-centred recovery for building back better, prioritizing employment, income and social protection, workers’ rights and social dialogue. If we want a lasting, sustainable and inclusive recovery, this is the path policy-makers must commit to,” he said.



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