The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a terrible toll on the world’s economy, with full or partial lockdown measures now affecting the livelihood of almost 2.7 billion people — more than 4 out of 5 workers in the global workforce of 3.3 billion, according to the International Labor Organization.
The deadly coronavirus has put health care systems under intense stress and delivered “unprecedented shocks to economies and labor markets,” leading the ILO to declare in its report on COVID-19, “It is the worst global crisis since the Second World War.”
“Workers and businesses are facing catastrophe, in both developed and developing economies,” ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said as the agency released the report Tuesday. “We have to move fast, decisively, and together. The right, urgent, measures, could make the difference between survival and collapse.”
In economic terms, the pandemic will be far worse than the most recent recession, the agency says.
“Huge losses are expected across different income groups but especially in upper-middle income countries,” the agency says, estimating a 7% decline in working hours for that group in the current economic quarter – a statistic that is equivalent to 100 million full-time workers in 40-hour workweeks.
“This far exceeds the effects of the 2008-9 financial crisis,” the ILO report states.
Read more: npr