Asia-Pacific Labour Market Insights

Women and young people pushed from labour force by COVID-19

62 million workers lost work in the Asia-Pacific region in 2020 because of the COVID-19 crisis. Three in four job losers – 48 million persons – left the labour force and were not working or looking for work (hence inactive). The remaining 14 million became unemployed (not working but looking for work). Women and young people experienced higher shares of job loss compared to their older, male counterparts, and were more likely to become inactive.

The pandemic has clearly demonstrated the more fragile hold that women and youth have on the labour market. As the already vulnerable groups exit the labour force and face numerous challenges to return to work, pre-existing inequalities in the world of work are intensified.

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