Latin America jobless to increase by 11.5 million due to virus – U.N.
SANTIAGO, Chile – The economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has left an extra 11.5 million people unemployed in Latin America, the United Nations (UN) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Thursday, May 21.
The new estimate from the UN's Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the ILO would mean a total of 37.7 million people in the region are now unemployed.
The report published on Thursday says Latin America's economy will also shrink by an estimated 5.3% – the worst fall since 1930 – leading to "negative effects" on unemployment, which will rise from 8.1% in 2019 to 11.5% this year.
The report also expects a marked deterioration in the quality of employment, principally affecting the most vulnerable people in a region where more than half of workers earn a living in the informal sector.
The ILO expects the number of hours worked to drop by 10.3%, something that will affect 32 million people.
Poverty is also expected to rise by 4.4% and extreme poverty by 2.6% compared to 2019 in the region of around 650 million people.
"That means poverty will therefore rise to 34.7% of the Latin American population and extreme poverty to 13%," the ECLAC report read.
That amounts to around 215 million people in poverty and more than 80 million in extreme poverty.
Both institutions said the recovery in the labor market will be slow and will require a lot of resources dedicated to training and education in health protocols.
"This requires reinforced institutional and budgetary resources to ensure compliance," said the report.
More than 600,000 people in the region have been infected with the novel coronavirus, leaving 33,000 dead, according to an Agence France-Presse count. – Rappler.com