The International Labour Organization projects 1.6 billion workers in the informal sector, nearly half of the global workforce, are in immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed due to the sharp decline in working hours occasioned by the COVID-19 outbreak.
ILO says more than 430 million enterprises in hard-hit sectors such as retail and manufacturing risk serious disruption.
Director General Guy Ryder says as the pandemic and the jobs crisis evolve, the need to protect the world’s most vulnerable workers becomes even more urgent.
According to Ryder for millions of workers, no income means no food, no security and no future.
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Our new data shows the social and economic impact of #COVID19 is being felt hardest by informal workers and by enterprises in high-risk sectors.
It has exposed the frailties and inequalities of our societies. We must build a better normal that supports the most vulnerable first. pic.twitter.com/5H58geOusA
— Guy Ryder (@GuyRyder) April 29, 2020
He further adds millions of businesses around the world are barely breathing as they have no savings or access to credit.
The third edition of the ILO Monitor publication on Covid19 shows due to lockdowns, or because they work in hard-hit sectors, these workers in informal sectors globally have experienced a 60 per cent drop in income during the first month of the crisis.
ILO says 436 million enterprises operating in wholesale and retail, manufacturing, accommodation, and other economic sectors have been hardest hit, and face high risks of serious disruption.
This comes as Kenya’s economy faces a 500,000 job loss risk in the next six months due to the economic meltdown occasioned by the Covid19 Pandemic.
In his Labour Day speech President Uhuru Kenyatta said businesses have been forced to close or operate for less hours putting thousands of jobs on the line.
To counter the unemployment, Kenyatta said it is time to look inward and build Kenya’s manufacturing capability to supply the market demands.