The lockdowns and other measures to combat the pandemic of COVID-19 caused in Latin America a lost working hours equivalent to 80 million jobs in the second quarter, or a 33,5% of the total, indicated a study by the International Labor Organization (ILO).
Latin America was in relative terms the region of the world that lost the most jobs between April and June, well above the global average (17.3%), and accumulated almost one sixth of the equivalent of 495 million jobs lost on the planet.
The ILO also foresees that Latin American countries remain as affected by the loss of employment derived from the pandemic during the third quarter, in which he calculates that the year-on-year decrease for the region is 25.6%, equivalent to 60 million jobs.
In absolute terms, the largest loss of working hours in the second quarter was in South Asia, where it amounted to 170 million jobs and it will still hit 115 million in the third quarter, in accordance with the agency’s forecasts.
Although the ILO did not provide detailed information on each country, it did highlight that the loss of hours of employment in Spain was around 6%, in countries such as the United States or Brazil it reached 10% and in many Latin American nations (Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica) was in the 20% band.
More dramatic was the case of Peru, one of the countries with the most cases of COVID-19 on the planet and with a high prevalence of informal employment, where it is estimated that the year-on-year loss of working hours it exceeded 50% between April and June.
Drop in income
Losses in working hours around the world resulted in the aforementioned global decline in labor income of $ 3.5 trillion (10.7% year-on-year).
America, underlines the ILO, it is the continent most affected by this loss of income, with a fall of 12.1% compared to the same period in 2019, and developing countries have also been hit harder than the rich in this regard, suffering a year-on-year decrease of 15.1%.
The decreases in working hours and income have been mainly due to preventive measures against COVID-19, which especially during massive confinements meant the closure of many work activities, something that according to the ILO still affects most of the planet .
Despite the fact that many restrictive measures are applied more loosely, the organization stresses that 94% of workers reside in countries where some type of limitation still applies that affects workplaces. And yet one in three workers resides in nations where all but essential workplaces are closed, the study recalls. (With information from EFE)