ILO assessment

ILO estimates reveal heavy job losses in the first half of 2021 in Myanmar

With an economy already weakened by the COVID-19 pandemic, a rapid assessment by the ILO reveals a deep employment crisis following the military takeover in Myanmar.

Press release | 19 July 2021
© Asian Development Bank
YANGON (ILO News) – Estimates released by the International Labour Organization (ILO) suggest a significant deterioration in labour market conditions in Myanmar since the military took power in February this year.

Employment contracted by an estimated 6 per cent in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, reflecting 1.2 million job losses. In the first half of 2021, an estimated 14 per cent of working hours were lost, which is equivalent to the working time of at least 2.2 million full-time workers.

In terms of both working-hour and employment losses, women are estimated to have been impacted more than men.

“Myanmar was already facing economic stress with jobs and livelihoods under threat as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However the estimates show a serious and rapid deterioration in employment in the first half of this year on a scale that could drive many in Myanmar into deep poverty,” said Mr Donglin Li, ILO Myanmar Liaison Officer/Representative.

All sectors of the economy have been impacted, with construction, garments and tourism and hospitality among the hardest hit. In the first half of 2021, employment in these sectors decreased by an estimated 35 per cent, 31 per cent and 25 per cent respectively, with even higher losses in relative working hours.

Further details can be found at Employment in Myanmar since the military takeover: A rapid impact assessment.

For further information please contact:

Steve Needham
Senior Communications Officer
ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a specialised United Nations Agency bringing together governments, employers and workers from 187 Member States to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.