Nine million jobs lost due to Covid-19 pandemic

SOUTHEAST ASIA: The Covid-19 pandemic pushed about 4.7 million people into extreme poverty last year, while over nine million jobs were lost, according to a recent Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.

The movement restrictions in several countries across the region also widened inequality, hitting the retail and informal sectors the hardest, where women, young people, and unskilled workers were more likely to be employed.

The report found that the negative impacts could persist, even as restrictions ease and other parts of the economy return to normal. "The pandemic's impact on poverty and unemployment will likely persist as inactive workers become de-skilled, and poor people’s access to opportunities further deteriorates,” it noted.

“When this happens, the deterioration in inequality could transfer across generations.”

The Asian Development Bank advised small businesses to use digital tools and skills training to ensure that they find a place in the “new normal” of work.

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