Pandemic hits wages of women, lowest-paid hardest: ILO

BERLIN (Reuters) – Monthly wages fell or stagnated in many countries in the first six months of 2020, with the pandemic hitting lower-paid workers and women hardest, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday.



a group of people in a room: FILE PHOTO: Women work in a garment factory, as factories reopened after the government has eased the restrictions amid concerns over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Dhaka


© Reuters/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
FILE PHOTO: Women work in a garment factory, as factories reopened after the government has eased the restrictions amid concerns over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Dhaka



a group of people sitting at a table: FILE PHOTO: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tarragona


© Reuters/Nacho Doce
FILE PHOTO: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tarragona

    The crisis is “likely to inflict massive downward pressure on wages in the near future”, the U.N. agency said in a report.

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While wages fell or grew more slowly in two-thirds of countries for which data was available, in the remaining third, a rise in wages was largely due to many lower-paid workers losing their jobs, skewing the average higher.

Without subsidies such as coronavirus furlough schemes, women would have lost 8.1% of their wages in the second quarter, compared with 5.4% for men, according to a sample of 28 European countries, the ILO report showed.

Those in lower-skilled jobs lost more working hours than higher-paying managerial and professional jobs, it said.

“The growth in inequality created by the COVID-19 crisis threatens a legacy of poverty and social and economic instability that would be devastating,” ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said.

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Alison Williams)

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