40 crore Indian workers may sink into poverty due to COVID-19: ILO


Amid Coronavirus crises, it is reported that about 40 crore workers in India working in the informal economy are at risk of falling deeper into poverty.


According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) a report stated that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting 2.7 billion workers globally due to lockdowns.


The report said that particularly in low- and middle-income countries, hard-hit sectors have a high proportion of workers in informal employment and workers with limited access to health services and social protection. Without appropriate policy measures, workers face a high risk of falling into poverty and will experience greater challenges in regaining their livelihoods during the recovery period.


ILO said that the current lockdown measures in India, which are at the high end of the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index, have impacted these workers significantly, forcing many of them to return to rural areas.


Employment contraction has already begun on a large (often unprecedented) scale in many countries. In the absence of other data, changes in working hours, which reflect both layoffs and other temporary reductions in working time, give a better picture about the dire reality of the current labour market situation.


Key sectors include retail trade, accommodation and food services, and manufacturing. Workplace closures have increased so rapidly in recent weeks that 81 per cent of the global workforce lives in countries with mandatory or recommended closures.


Employment in countries with mandatory or recommended workplace closures represents 87 per cent of the workforce of upper-middle-income countries and 70 per cent of the workforce in high income countries.


COVID-19 is now also impacting the developing world, where capacities and resources are severely constrained. Through the massive economic disruption, the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the world’s workforce of 3.3 billion.