(CMR) About 1.5 million jobs will be lost in the Caribbean due to the coronavirus pandemic. The International Labour Organization (ILO) made the declaration in a report released on Tuesday in Geneva.
The report also estimates huge losses across different income groups, noting that the sectors most at risk include hospitality and restaurant services, manufacturing, retail, and business and administrative activities.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, more than 50 per cent of all workers are employed in the sectors most impacted by the crisis, such as commerce and services, according to data from the latest ILO Labour Overview for the region, which was released in January just before the global contagion of COVID-19 began.
“We are facing a massive destruction of jobs, and this poses a challenge of unprecedented magnitude in the labour markets of Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Vinícius Pinheiro, ILO Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
“We already know that at the same time that when the health emergency is overcome, we will have to face a true reconstruction of our labour markets,” he added.
Pinheiro said that the region will need to employ ambitious measures to preserve jobs, promote businesses and protect incomes to get out of this “intensive care situation”.
The ILO Monitor describes the pandemic as the worst crisis since World War II, which is causing a rise in unemployment and job insecurity.