Exclusive: Coronavirus crisis could destroy far more than 25 million jobs - ILO official

  • In Business
  • 2020-03-26 15:33:53Z
  • By Reuters
A \"Help Wanted\" sign sits in the window of a shop in Harvard Square in Cambridge
A \"Help Wanted\" sign sits in the window of a shop in Harvard Square in Cambridge  

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) - The number of jobs lost around the world due to the coronavirus crisis could be "far higher" than the 25 million the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated just a week ago, a senior ILO official said on Thursday.

The United Nations agency said on March 18 that, based on different scenarios for the impact of the pandemic on global economic growth, estimated the global ranks of jobless would rise by between 5.3 million and 24.7 million.

However, Sangheon Lee, director of the ILO's employment policy department, told Reuters in Geneva on Thursday that the scale of temporary unemployment, lay-offs and the number of unemployment benefit claims were far higher than first expected.

"We are trying to factor in the temporary massive shock into our estimate modelling. The magnitude of fluctuation is much bigger than expected," he said.

"We need to make downward adjustment, the projection will be much bigger, far higher than the 25 million we estimated."

ILO's next forecast is expected to be issued next week.

By comparison, the 2008/9 global financial crisis increased global unemployment by 22 million.

Figures released on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits surged to a record of more than 3 million last week.

Strict measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic brought the country to a sudden halt, unleashing a wave of layoffs that likely ended the longest employment boom in U.S. history.

Data is also pointing to a sharp jump in job losses in Western Europe despite government spending packages that include support for companies to keep workers on.

(Writing by John Chalmers; editing by John Stonestreet)


More Related News

'Narrow' DOL guidance on coronavirus benefits for gig workers prompts protest

The DOL guidance implements the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which was created in last month's blizzard of emergency coronavirus legislation.

IMF encouraged by recovery in China, but pandemic could resurge
IMF encouraged by recovery in China, but pandemic could resurge

The International Monetary Fund on Monday cited limited but encouraging signs of recovery in China, the first country to suffer the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, but said it could not rule out a resurgence of the pandemic in China and elsewhere. In a blog, top IMF economists said the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus had pushed the world into a recession that would be worse than the global financial crisis, and called for a global, coordinated health and economic policy response. "The economic damage is mounting across all countries, tracking the sharp rise in new infections and containment measures put in place by governments," the IMF experts wrote.

Jamie Dimon Sees
Jamie Dimon Sees 'Bad Recession' and Echoes of 2008 Crisis Ahead

(Bloomberg) -- Jamie Dimon said the coronavirus pandemic will lead to a major economic downturn and stress mirroring the meltdown that nearly brought down the U.S. financial system in 2008."At a minimum, we assume that it will include a bad recession combined with some kind of financial stress similar to the global financial crisis of 2008," the chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Monday in his annual letter to shareholders. "Our bank cannot be immune to the effects of this kind of stress."The 23-page letter, his shortest since 2008, came less than a week after Dimon told staff he'd returned to work after undergoing emergency heart surgery. It was his first public...

10 Things You Must Know About Filing for Unemployment Benefits
10 Things You Must Know About Filing for Unemployment Benefits

A record 6.6 million workers filed for their first week of unemployment benefits in the week ending March 28, and millions more are expected to follow by this summer as COVID-19 pandemic devastates the economy.For many laid-off workers, this may be their first time dealing with the unemployment-benefits system, a joint state and federal program that provides those out of work with temporary yet steady cash payments to help them financially while finding a new job.The good news: Legislation passed by Congress significantly increases payments and the length of time that they're available, and extends eligibility to the self-employed - so many gig workers and contractors will now be able to...

Mnuchin's Empty Jobs Stretch Treasury Team Thin in Global Crisis

(Bloomberg) -- Stock prices were tanking, the Federal Reserve was pouring unprecedented relief into the markets and Wall Street firms were in panic mode. Steven Mnuchin was due to gather the central bank chairman and other top financial regulators to assess the damage from the coronavirus outbreak.But the Treasury secretary was stuck on Capitol Hill.Lacking both a chief of staff and a legislative director, Mnuchin was personally negotiating details of what would become the largest stimulus legislation ever passed. The critical March 23 meeting with market overseers would have to wait.As it confronts the worst economic disaster since the 2008 financial crisis, the Treasury Department is...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Business