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.