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New Poll Shows Governments Failing To Tackle Jobs Crisis

One year into the global COVID-19 pandemic, the health crisis has exposed gaps in access to social protection and has left a devastating impact on working people as households struggle with the loss of jobs and working hours.

Across the ten G20 countries surveyed, half (49%) of people live in a household where someone has either lost their jobs or had their working hours reduced due to the pandemic.

The poll, commissioned by the ITUC from global market research company YouGov, covers ten G20 countries: Australia, Brazil, France, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico and the USA. Fieldwork was carried out 2 - 17th February 2021.

Workers are demanding a New Social Contract with jobs, rights, social protection, equality and inclusion. The pandemic has exposed the absence of social protection for the majority of the world’s population – including employment protection for people who have lost their livelihoods. The lack of social protection means the virus will spread faster and wider as people with the virus are forced to work to survive,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, ITUC.

While the pandemic and its impacts have been global, the shock has been greater on the populations of some countries than others, deepening inequality, which will hold back economic growth and stability.

  • In Indonesia, almost three-quarters (74%) of people reported that they live in a household where someone has lost their job or had their working hours reduced due to the pandemic.
  • In Brazil, 66% live in a household where someone has lost a job or had their working hours reduced due to the pandemic. Those in Mexico (63%) and India (61%) have had a similar experience.

“As we work to secure a New Social Contract for recovery and resilience, governments must have plans to create jobs, especially in health and care and for a Just Transition to a zero-carbon future. Jobs have to be the anchor of recovery because they give people the means to rebuild economies from the ground up,” said Sharan Burrow.

Over half of all respondents are calling on governments to do more to create jobs as the loss of jobs and working hours takes their toll.

  • 54% of people across the ten G20 countries believe that their government should be doing more than it is to create jobs for workers affected by the pandemic.
  • In Mexico, 71% – almost three-quarters – of people believe that their government should be doing more to create jobs for workers. Brazil (67%) and Japan (65%) have around two-thirds of people who think their government should be doing more in this area.
  • Half or more of people in Indonesia (58%), the USA (51%) and India (50%) believe their government should be doing more, as do 45% of those in Great Britain and 43% in Australia.

G20 leaders must put jobs and social protection with a global social protection fund at the centre of recovery efforts. People need hope, and every government must have a jobs plan.” said Sharan Burrow.

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