‘Women more affected by COVID-19 labour market disruptions’

February 2, 2021
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The International Labour Organization (ILO) said women have been more affected than men by the pandemic’s labour market disruptions.

According to a report recently released by the ILO on the impact of COVID-19 by groups and sectors, globally, employment losses for women stand at 5 per cent, while it stands at 3.9 per cent for men. In particular, women were much more likely than men to drop out of the labour market and become inactive.

Younger workers have also been particularly hard hit, either losing jobs, dropping out of the labour force or delaying entry into it. The employment loss among youth (15-24 years old) stood at 8.7 per cent, compared to 3.7 per cent for adults. This “highlights the all too real risk of a lost generation”, the report said.

It shows the uneven impact on different economic, geographic, and labour market sectors. It highlights concerns of a “K-shaped recovery”, whereby those sectors and workers hit hardest could be left behind in the recovery, leading to increasing inequality, unless corrective measures are taken.

The worst affected sector has been accommodation and food services, where employment declined by more than 20 per cent, on average, followed by retail and manufacturing.

In contrast, employment in information and communication, and finance and insurance, increased in the second and third quarters of 2020. Marginal increases were also seen in mining, quarrying and utilities.

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