Amid coronavirus pandemic, billionaires get richer as Americans lose jobs

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Jun 05, 2020, 11.20 PM(IST) Edited By: Palki Sharma

A representitive image. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The billionaires are getting richer, while the unemployment rates are at a record high

It will be an understatement to say that "there are no jobs". The coronavirus pandemic has caused a huge economic collapse with millions of layoffs and jobs at risk. 

Companies which seemed to weather this storm are now downsizing. The billionaires are getting richer, while the unemployment rates are at a record high. 

Also read | What's the importance of tourism to the world's economy?
 
The United States has the most number of billionaires (more than 700), which together control a wealth of more than 3,000 billion dollars.  

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In the 11 weeks of lockdown in the US, they have grown richer by half a trillion dollars, which is an increase of nearly 20 per cent. 

On the other hand, in the last three months, more than 42 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits, excluding the millions of self-employed workers. 

The jobs that were added since the 2008 financial crisis were wiped out in these three months. 

In April alone, more than 20 million jobs were lost in the US. During that time, the unemployment rate stood at 14.7 per cent. Now all the 50 states in the US have begun to open up economy due to which 2.5 million jobs were created in May alone. The unemployment rate fell to 13 per cent, which is still historically high.

Still, US President Donald Trump could not stop to praise himself even more. 

The coronavirus pandemic is still very much here and more companies are planning job cuts as they are witnessing their savings getting depleted each day. 
 
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has estimated that most jobs would be lost in the Americas, both North, and South. It says that 300 million jobs will be lost due to coronavirus outbreak 

In April, the jobless rate, stood at 6.6 per cent, thanks to the short-time work programs. These programs are more common in Europe than in the US. The program lets struggling companies retain employees while reducing their working hours. The government then contributes to a part of their salary. 

In the United Kingdom, the auto industry is the worst hit with job losses close to 6,000. 

Iconic car-makers are cutting off the workforce. Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, and Bentley laid off 2,000, 3,000, and 1,000 people. 

Globally, there are nearly 3.3 billion workers, of which 2 billion work in the informal sector. In the first month of the pandemic, most of these two billion workers in the informal sector witness an income drop of 60 per cent. 

The numbers from the developing countries are even more worrying. 
 
Mass unemployment is the new normal in South East Asia. In Vietnam, who is rising as a manufacturing hub, five million workers have lost their jobs in the first three months of the year.

In Thailand, six million jobs will be lost in the tourism sector alone and a similar story is that of Africa, where 50 per cent jobs will be lost. 

In India, over 20 million jobs were added in May, however, the unemployment rate still stands at 23.5 per cent, according to the Centre of Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). 

As India eases lockdown restrictions, most of the small traders and daily wage labourers are returning to work. They make up a third of the total population employed. 

So as India gears up to open economy a lot more in the coming weeks, more jobs could be added.