The International Labour Congress (ILC) says almost 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A great rise in the existing unemployment and underemployment rate.

Mr. Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General, said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja. He stated that the finding was according to a new assessment by the ILO.

“An initial assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the global world of work says the effects will be far-reaching, pushing millions of people into unemployment, underemployment and working poverty, and proposes measures for a decisive, coordinated and immediate response.

“The economic and labour crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic could increase global unemployment by almost 25 million

“However, if we see an internationally coordinated policy response, as happened in the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, then the impact on global unemployment could be significantly lower.”

He further stated that the organisation duly protects workers in the workplace, stimulating the economy and employment, and supporting jobs and incomes.

“These measures include extending social protection, supporting employment retention such as short-time work, paid leave, other subsidies and financial and tax relief, including for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

The ILO estimated that between 8.8 and 35 million additional people would be in working poverty worldwide, compared to the original estimate for 2020, which projected a decline of 14 million worldwide.

According to Mr Ryder, there must be swift and coordinated policy responses to the issue.

“This is no longer only a global health crisis, it is also a major labour market and economic crisis that is having a huge impact on people.He said the ILO note warns that certain groups will be disproportionately affected by the jobs crisis, which could increase inequality.

He added that these include people in less protected and low-paid jobs, particularly youth, older workers, women and migrants too.