Women and workers in low-paying jobs hardest hit by COVID-19 - ILO report
The Global Wage Report found that the overall share in global income was on the decline for the past five years, however, the situation was exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
JOHANNESBURG - While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on wages was still being measured in many countries globally, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has found that women and workers in low-paying jobs were hit the hardest.
The Global Wage Report found that the overall share in global income was on the decline for the past five years.
However, the situation was exacerbated by the pandemic as many countries - including South Africa - were forced to implement lockdowns, bringing economies to a complete halt.
The ILO report painted a gloomy picture of global wage growth. Studies locally had for the past decade recorded a decline in real wages, despite increased productivity and working hours in some sectors.
The report found that productivity was growing globally, but even this was not enough to circumvent the impact of COVID-19.
“The growth in inequality created by the COVID-19 crisis threatens a legacy of poverty and social and economic instability that would be devastating,” said ILO director-general Guy Ryder.
“Our recovery strategy must be human-centred. We need adequate wage policies that take into account the sustainability of jobs and enterprises, and also address inequalities and the need to sustain demand.
If we are going to build a better future we must also deal with some uncomfortable questions about why jobs with high social value, like carers and teachers, are very often linked to low pay.”
The report also conceded that the impact of the crisis remained unknown in many parts of the world, and only in coming years would a full picture of the impact of the pandemic on wages and labour markets emerge.