When Work Isn’t Enough?
The rise in unemployment is an obvious consequence of the ongoing covid-19 pandemic; for example, Japan’s ministry of labor has estimated that more than 70,000 people have lost or are on the verge of losing their jobs because of the coronavirus in November. The loss of work and income has had an impact on the economy of nearly every country, locally, nationally, and internationally.
Before the pandemic began and to this day, however, there have been those who frequently work more than one job because their net salary is not enough to support themselves or their family. These people are often referred to as The Working Poor.
The International Labour Organization describes those living in households with a per capita income under USD $1.90 PPP per day as extremely poor and those income above USD $1.90 PPP and higher but below USD $3.10 as moderately poor. In 2018, the percent of the world’s popular falling under these categories were 8% and 13% respectively, and despite being employed, these people were unable to provide for themselves adequately.
“While poverty in the developed world is often associated with unemployment,” the ILO states, “the extreme poverty that exists throughout much of the developing world is largely a problem of employed persons in these societies. For these poor workers, the problem is typically one of employment quality.”
There are several reasons for this poverty, and it is often exacerbated by factors such as age, gender, and region, but one thing is clear: tackling the issue of working poverty can only be addressed through multilayered tactics that create decent work opportunities that guarantee adequate income, appropriate working time, access to social protection, job security, and an overall safe environment.
While the world had made significant progress in reducing working poverty (in 2000 nearly half the global population was extremely or moderately poor), these efforts have largely slowed and have certainly been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Private and public sectors can work together to ensure that people of developing countries not only can work but also have access to work that guarantees their needs are met. The MJBL Foundation is excited to collaborate with individuals and organizations that aim to offer opportunities for individuals to gain skills and address the needs of each global community.