The International Labour Organization says the COVID-19 crisis is likely to inflict massive downward pressure on wages in the near future.
A new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), a United Nations body, has found that monthly wages fell or grew more slowly in the first six months of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in two-thirds of countries for which official data was available.
The Global Wages Report 2020/21 shows that not all workers have been equally affected by the crisis. The impact on women has been worse than on men.
Estimates based on a sample of 28 European countries found that, without wage subsidies, women would have lost 8.1 per cent of their wages in the second quarter of 2020, compared to 5.4 per cent for men.
The crisis has also severely affected lower paid workers. Those in lower skilled occupations lost more working hours than higher paying managerial and professional jobs. The report shows that, without temporary subsidies, the lowest paid 50 per cent of workers would have lost an estimated 17.3 per cent of their wages.
“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.