Coronavirus: 1.7 Million People in the Arab World Could Lose Their Jobs

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The coronavirus crisis could cause more than 1.7 million people in the Arab region to lose their jobs in 2020 and unemployment to spike 1.2 percent as the coronavirus pandemic ravages economies and businesses shed jobs at an alarming rate, a policy brief issued by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) said on Wednesday.

As the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has continued to spread across the world, governments and authorities have responded by shutting borders, closing public places, and sending workers home. This state of affairs is unprecedented for the global economy and is likely to cause a recession, experts have warned, the costs of which have yet to be tallied.

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The report found that unlike the 2008 financial crisis, employment will be effected across all sectors. The services sector, which includes retail, education, social work, and communications, will be the worst hit with, “estimates point to a reduction by half of service-sector activities,” the report said, as social distancing policies take a toll.

The coronavirus has infected nearly 250,000 people worldwide, with over 10,000 dead. A little over 86,000 have recovered.

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