Covit 19 has been recognized as one of the worst-affected regions in Latin America and the Caribbean by the crisis created by the epidemic. This was confirmed by Vinicius Pinhiro, director of the International Labor Organization (ILO) for the region. Global Report “Global Employment and Social Vision: Trends 2021”.
The report, released at the opening of the 109th International Labor Conference in its first session on Monday, welcomes delegates from 187 ILO member states, stating that the unemployment rate in our region has already reached 11.1 percent. The 28 million working people do not earn enough to stay with their families above the poverty line.
It also points out that Latin America and the Caribbean experienced a sharp decline in working hours in 2020 (equivalent to more than 30 million jobs due to layoffs and reduced working hours) and yet in the first months of 2021, the percentage of work hours lost in the second quarter of 2020 was estimated at 30 percent The region is showing a recovery, as it has declined – the worst moment of the crisis – to 11 percent. .
According to Pinheiro, “To face the future, we must take into account the pre-epidemic situation, small employment, high informal and strong inequality, slow growth, pre-existing conditions of controlling resistance and the ability to respond in an unprecedented way. Crisis with catastrophic consequences ”.
The ILO Regional Director recalled that before the epidemic, the region was recovering from waves of social upheaval and political instability in many countries, and that at this time social dialogue was more relevant than ever to form consensus and define effective strategies. They are successfully implemented.
The report warns of the possibility of a slowdown in the employment recovery in the region, particularly formal employment, which will have an impact on the informal growth, in which Vinicius Pinhiro called for extraordinary measures to rebuild labor markets. Employment is at the center of a country’s economic recovery because economic growth without job creation will increase social unrest and affect political stability.
“The gradual and random recovery of the world economy is expected to begin in the second half of 2021, driven by advances in vaccination and large-scale budget spending. Most of these positive effects will have a limited geographical purpose unless international measures are agreed on, both in the distribution of vaccines and debt relief. . ”Says the document.
What lies ahead
The new ILO report, which is currently being discussed as part of the 109th International Labor Conference, states that many companies, especially micro and small enterprises, are already facing bankruptcy or a very uncertain future, adversely affecting their future productivity and their ability to retain workers and the most affected by economic activity This issue is very pressing: accommodation and restaurant services, wholesale and retail, construction and manufacturing industries.
Similarly, it refers to the impact on informal workers who are informally affected because “the irregular impact of the crisis relates to the level of work skills, which in another way increases social inequality”.
This crisis threatens to affect the advancement of gender equality because women still face many job losses, while their unpaid working hours increase; Young people are affected at a crucial time in their lives, making it difficult to move from school or university to work. “COVID-19 further illustrates the impact on migrant workers,” he says.
Therefore, according to the ILO study – it is necessary to adopt a comprehensive and integrated and people-centered political agenda:
- Encouraging broader economic growth and productive employment creation by investing in sectors that can provide decent jobs and support fair change, gender equality and dynamic labor markets;
- Supporting active labor market policies, public employment services and high-quality support services provided by the public sector, especially for those most affected by the crisis, such as housing income and labor market changes;
- Strengthen institutional foundations for inclusive, sustainable and flexible economic growth and development, promote social security systems, promote regularization and ensure that all workers, regardless of their contractual status, collectively enjoy the rights to freedom of association and negotiation, and receive conditions and adequate minimum wages ;
- Participate in community dialogue to develop people-centered recovery strategies and their effective implementation is the result of dialogue and dialogue between governments, employers and labor organizations.
Vinicius Pinhiro, regional director of the ILO, defines this as the four pillars of job recovery after the epidemic: economic and employment stimulation; Supporting businesses, jobs and income; Protecting workers in the workplace; Seek solutions through social dialogue.