Pandemic pushes unemployment to record high, undo’s years worth of progress on poverty

The unprecedented pandemic has left the world in chaos. Governments all over the world imposed lockdowns to curb the spread of Covid-19 infection. The aftermath of the lockdowns has resulted in massive jobs losses and business shutdowns.

The coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted industries globally to a point of threatening their survival, the aviation sector, tourism sector, automobile sector, real estate sector, oil & gas sector, leisure facilities sector, casinos, gaming and the retail sector are facing the worst of it. All these factors have led to the rise in unemployment levels worldwide.

Reports estimate Covid-19 crises pushed the global unemployment levels to over 200 million in the lower circuit. South Asia solely accounts for 80 million of that. The ILO stated that the world will emerge from this health crises but “five years of progress towards the eradication of working poverty have been undone”

In February 2020 the United States reported a 3.5% unemployment rate, lowest in the past 50 years. This quickly changed to 14.8% in April 2020, as a result of the unprecedented pandemic. This rate kept on decreasing bit by bit over time. As of May 2021 the unemployment rate stood at 5.5 %.


“A greater proportion of women also fell out of the labour market, becoming inactive,” the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a recent report.

Since the pandemic came into picture more than 64 million women worldwide lost their jobs. That is a staggering 5% loss compared to the men standing at 3.9%.

Income worth approximately $800 billion was lost in 2020 solely by women around the world. This estimate doesn’t include the informal sector. Additionally it is estimated that 47 million women around the world are projected to fall into extreme poverty, living on less than $1.90 per day in 2021.


In response to the pandemic governments came up with financial support packages and fiscal and monetary policy changes to aid households.

In the United States every American received $2,000 cheque as a Covid-19 relief fund. Several nations around the world followed suit, handing out relief cheques.

The world band deployed $160 billion to aid 100 developing and under developed countries.


It is estimated that the global unemployment will recover in the second half of 2021. Signs of economic recovery have been emerging since vaccination campaigns began early this year and nations easing restrictions.

The World Bank has said the global economy will expand by 4% in 2021 and it is projected to grow at a record speed. Global accounting firm PWC has predicted that the global economy will revert back to pre Covid-19 levels by 2022, but recovery will be uneven across the various sectors and industries.