1 billion people lost jobs because of COVID-19

1 billion people lost jobs because of COVID-19

One in two people have lower earnings due to the pandemic and people in lower-income countries were affected the most. 

The United States-based polling company Gallup, which surveyed 300,000 people across 117 countries, found that half of those with jobs earned less because of COVID-19 pandemic disruptions. This translated to 1.6 billion adults globally.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one in two people worldwide saw their earnings drop, with people in low-income countries particularly hard-hit by job losses or cuts to their working hours.

“Worldwide, these percentages ranged from a high of 76 percent in Thailand to a low of 10 percent in Switzerland,” said researchers in a statement.

In Bolivia, Myanmar, Kenya, Uganda, Indonesia, Honduras and Ecuador, more than 70 percent people polled said they took home less pay than before global health crisis hit.

In the U.S, this figure dropped to 34 percent.

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The global poll presented during the job reset summit shows Women were hit particularly hard as they are over-represented in low-paid precarious sectors such as retail, tourism and food services.

Another study by the international charity Oxfam said the pandemic had cost women around the world Ksh.86.57 trillion ($800 billion) in lost income.

According to the Gallup poll, more than half of people surveyed said they temporarily stopped working at their job or business – translating to about 1.7 billion adults globally.

In 57 countries including India, Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Kenya, Bangladesh, El Salvador, more than 65 percent of respondents said they stopped working for a time.

Countries, where people were least likely to say they stopped working, were predominantly developed, high-income countries.


Less than one in 10 of those who had jobs in Austria, Switzerland and Germany said they had stopped working temporarily. In the U.S., the figure was 39 percent, research showed.

The poll further showed that one in three people surveyed lost their job or business due to the pandemic – translating into just over one billion people globally.

These figures also varied across nations with lower-income countries such as the Philippines, Kenya and Zimbabwe showing more than 60 percent of respondents lost their jobs or businesses, compared to three percent in Switzerland and 13 percent in the U.S.

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