The International Labor Organization warned of the “danger” that young workers could face, from inability to get proper training or gain access to jobs, in a May 27, 2020 story. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Job losses among young risks creating ‘lock-down generation’

“Danger of long-term exclusion”

GENEVA — More than one in every six young workers have stopped working during the coronavirus pandemic, the U.N. labour agency reported Wednesday, warning of long-term fallout that could lead to a “lock-down generation” if steps aren’t taken to ease the crisis.

The International Labor Organization, in its fourth edition of its report on 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, with it being felt most sharply now in the Americas, an epicenter of the outbreak currently.

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.

“They have been basically ejected from their jobs,” he said, referring to the one in six youths who have stopped working. “There is a danger of long-term exclusion. The scarring of young people who are excluded from the labour 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.

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.

“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.”

The ILO said policymakers can take steps to ease the fallout, such as by providing “guarantees” to protect employment and skills, and rolling out COVID-19 “testing and tracing” measures that can help improve workplace safety and get people back to work faster and more safely.

The report is based on a survey that te ILO and its partners conducted on youth employment. The agency says young people were already in a precarious position relative to other age categories, with work rates still below those before the 2008 economic crisis.

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 of young workers are in “informal” jobs – including 94% of young workers in Africa alone.

By The Associated Press

CoronavirusJobs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council approves second attempt for downtown cannabis retail shop

Firestone Cannabis submitted a new application after their first was denied in August

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Three young Sylvan Lake residents are asking for lights to be added to the walking trail system to make them safer and less scary at night. Photo by @workinonmyfitness72
Young Sylvan Lake residents ask for lights to be added to walking trails

Three young Sylvan Lake residents appeared before Council recently to present their ask

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

A man runs across the Carcross Dunes in Carcross, Yukon, on July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘No manual or checklist:’ Yukon ditching fall time change this year

The territory decided to adopt year-round daylight time in March

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains makes an announcement regarding vaccine procurement, in Toronto, on Wednesday, Aug., 5, 2020. Despite its status as an artificial intelligence hub, Canada has yet to develop a regulatory regime to deal with issues of privacy, discrimination and accountability to which AI systems are prone, prompting calls for regulation from businesses and experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Canada crawling toward AI regulatory regime, but experts say reform is urgent

5 million images of shoppers collected without consent at Canadian malls

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie "The Name of the Rose" at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

He died peacefully in his sleep overnight in the Bahamas

(Photo submitted)
Rimbey resident avid author despite Parkinson’s

Wins more accolades for her writing

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

City of Wetaskiwin Mayor presenting the AUMA Above & Beyond Award to John Maude and Susan Quinn. Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin County residents win the AUMA Above & Beyond Award

John Maude and Susan Quinn are being recognized for their role in Wetaskiwin’s sustainability.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

(Pixabay photo)
Spoooky, scaaaary: The ultimate Halloween-in-quarantine playlist

All the costumes, trick-or-treating and spooky-season fun is essentialy off the table due to COVID-19

Most Read