A minimum of one-fourth of US workers, and possibly up to one-third, have lost their jobs. Many are not sure if they are going to ever get them back. This has caused a tremendous number of problems in the US and will for the future. But America is not alone, for nations around the world are suffering with the same issues, and many youth are in an especially bad position as AP News reports, prompting fears of insecurity about the future amid vanishing jobs and work opportunities.
The U.N. labor agency reported Wednesday that more than one in every six young workers globally have stopped working during the pandemic, warning that long-term fallout could lead to a “lock-down generation” if steps aren’t taken to ease the crisis.
The International Labor Organization, in a new look at the impact of the pandemic on jobs, says that work hours equivalent to 305 million full-time jobs have been lost due to the COVID-19 crisis. Many young workers face economic hardship and despair about the future.
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder warned of the “danger” that young workers aged 15 to 28 in particular could face, from inability to get proper training or gain access to jobs that could extend well beyond the pandemic and last far into their working careers.
In a survey, ILO and its partners found that over one in six of such young workers were no longer working during the pandemic, many with their workplaces shuttered or their usual clienteles stuck at home. Young people were already in a precarious position relative to other age categories, with work rates still below those before the 2008 economic crisis even before the pandemic hit.
“They have been basically ejected from their jobs,” he said, referring to those who have stopped working. “There is a danger of long-term exclusion. The scarring of young people who are excluded from the labor market early in their careers is well attested by the literature.”
“So I don’t think it is giving way to hyperbole to talk about the danger of a lock-down generation,” Ryder added, noting the psychological distress that can quickly affect younger workers who worry about the future of their budding work lives.
Naim said he’s living off savings, but expects the money to run out in 6 to 7 months.
“I don’t know what I’ll do after that — the future is a big unknown,” he said. “I’m scared of the coming days. God forbid, if there is a health emergency with the family and I don’t have enough money for it because I don’t have a job, and the government is unable to help.”
ILO says governments can help with measures like increasing state support for unemployed workers, taking steps to guarantee jobs and training, and rolling out testing and tracing measures that boost workplace safety and help workers and consumers get back out more quickly.
The Middle East is just one of the world’s many regions struggling to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak. After first peaking in China, where it began, then Europe, now it’s the Americas that is seen as the main epicenter.
Of those still working, nearly one in four – or 23% – have seen their working hours reduced, the ILO said, pointing to a “triple shock” faced by young workers: Destruction of their work, disruption to their training and education, and obstacles moving in the work force or entering it in the first place.
Of the 178 million young workers employed around the world, more than 40% were in “hard hit sectors when the crisis began,” such as food services and hospitality industries, the ILO said. More than three-fourths are in “informal” jobs, including 94% of young workers in Africa alone.
“We run the risk of creating a situation — in this sort of snapshot of pandemic — which will have lasting effects,” Ryder told a virtual news conference from the ILO headquarters. “A lot of young people are simply going to be left behind in big numbers.
“And the danger is — and again, this is the lesson of past experience — that this initial shock to young people will last a decade or longer than a decade,” Ryder said. “It will affect the trajectory of working people, young working people, throughout their working lives.” (source)
The disappearance of economic opportunities, especially for youth, tends to create restlessness which results in migrations, war, or both.
One cannot have a stable society if people are unable or prevented from making their lives better. This situation has been forced by the current state of the financial system and its collapse due to an abundance of debt.
There is no nation that is going to escape from this unscathed because of the interconnected nature of the global banking system and the financial deposits. Ironically, the US is in the best position of all because while she has the largest debt, she also controls the money printing system and is the comparatively wealthiest as well as has geographic isolation from the rest of the old world.
As jobs vanish, as mass unemployment becomes common, what will restless young men do? Will they drown their miseries out as they struggle to live and better themselves, or will they become angry and possibly start fighting?
Years ago, Pope Francis was heavily criticized by the right for saying that youth unemployment was a major issue. However, he may have been more right than what he seemed then, for while abortion certainly is a more important issue, youth unemployment is often a symptom of economic decline that leads to national decline and given the global system, could lead to world problems that may result in a world war. Ironically, while we do not know, France may have (intentionally or not) given a possible prophetic warning about condition that may help lead to a Third World War.
At this time of great crisis and instability, it is important that families respond by working with their children, as a single unit in how families did for centuries, to help them better themselves and build a future for their descendants. It is imperative that the Boomers, Xers, Millennials, and Zoomers look beyond differences with each other and focus on helping each other survive, as while none can do it alone, as a team they can complement or supplement the deficiencies or talents of the others.
The world is entering into a very dark place. However, there is always hope in God, which a man must have, and for the sake of the youth that are yet to come, that all put aside personal differences and work together today to make a better tomorrow.