COVID pandemic has cost 34 million jobs in Latin America: UN

Workers in Venezuela and elsewhere across the region have seen historic job loss since March.

New Delhi (NVI): An estimated 34 million jobs have been lost across Latin America and the Caribbean so far due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The ILO urged countries in the region to adopt “immediate strategies” to deal with the problem.

The count was up from the ILO’s previous estimates in early August that 14 million jobs had been lost in the region.

The organization’s Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Vinícius Pinheiro, called it “an unprecedented challenge.” Pinheiro said the third quarter had brought a recovery in economic activity and, according to preliminary data, a tentative recovery in employment.

He said the region faced structural problems like low productivity, income inequality and a large percentage of people working off the books.

The ILO figures were based on data from nine countries which account for 80 per cent of the region’s workforce.

The ILO lists Latin America and the Caribbean as the worst-hit region in the world in terms of lost working hours, with a drop of 20.9 per cent in the first three quarters of the year, compared to an average of 11.7 per cent worldwide.

No other region in the world has been as adversely affected as Latin America in terms of incomes lost. It has also been the hardest hit region in terms of infections as there have been 9.3 million coronavirus cases and more than 345,000 deaths reported from the virus to date.