Pandemic knocks a tenth off incomes of workers around the world

The income earned by workers around the world fell more than 10 per cent in the first nine months of 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the International Labour Organization.

The estimate was derived from the number of working hours lost since the pandemic hit.

The fall in working hours in the second quarter of 2020 was even sharper than previously thought, according to ILO research released on Wednesday, falling 17.3 per cent from pre-pandemic levels — equivalent to the loss of almost half a billion full-time jobs.

The figures, which include those who are furloughed and on short-time work schemes as well as those who have become unemployed or fallen out of the labour market, illustrate the heavy toll the pandemic is expected to take on consumer spending, and the drag that will pose to economic recovery.

The lost working hours equate to a 10.7 per cent drop in global labour income, the ILO estimated.

The outlook for the rest of the year is also bleaker than previously estimated. Lost working hours are expected to total 345m full-time jobs in the third quarter and 245m in the final three months of 2020.

Guy Ryder, the ILO’s director-general, said this was partly because of the resurgence in Covid-19 cases in some parts of the world, but also because…

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