1 in 2 people globally lost income due to pandemic – Gallup

One in two people worldwide saw their earnings drop due to the coronavirus, with people in low-income countries particularly hard hit by job losses or cuts to their working hours, research showed on Monday, May 3.

US-based polling company Gallup, which surveyed 300,000 people across 117 countries, found that half of those with jobs earned less because of COVID-19 pandemic disruptions. This translated to 1.6 billion adults globally, it said.

"Worldwide, these percentages ranged from a high of 76% in Thailand to a low of 10% in Switzerland," said researchers in a statement.

In Bolivia, Myanmar, Kenya, Uganda, Indonesia, Honduras, and Ecuador, more than 70% people polled said they took home less than before the global health crisis. In the United States, this figure dropped to 34%.

The COVID-19 crisis has hit workers across the world, particularly women, who are overrepresented in low-paid precarious sectors such as retail, tourism, and food services.

A study by the international charity Oxfam on Thursday, April 29, said the pandemic had cost women around the world $800 billion in lost income.

The Gallup poll found that more than half of those surveyed said they temporarily stopped working at their job or business – translating to about 1.7 billion adults globally.

In 57 countries including India, Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Kenya, Bangladesh, and El Salvador, more than 65% of respondents said they stopped working for a time.

Countries where people were least likely to say they stopped working were predominantly developed, high-income countries.

Fewer than 1 in 10 of those who had jobs in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany said they had stopped working temporarily. In the US, the figure was 39%, research showed.

The poll also showed that 1 in 3 people surveyed lost their job or business due to the pandemic – translating into just over one billion people globally.

These figures also varied across nations with lower income countries such as the Philippines, Kenya, and Zimbabwe showing more than 60% of respondents lost their jobs or businesses, compared to 3% in Switzerland and 13% in the United States. – Rappler.com