Economics/Class Relations

The pandemic destroyed 225 million jobs worldwide, but billionaires got richer, reports find

A social media poster comments: “The Pandemic” didn’t do SHIT!!!! The media did! The political class did! The academic class did! Hopkins did! The CDC did! The WHO did! White Coat worship did! Worshipful deference to and blind trust in authority did! The oligarchs and plutocrats did! The banksters did!”

By Jennifer Hassan, Washington Post

LONDON — At least 225 million full-time jobs disappeared worldwide last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report published Monday by the International Labor Organization, losses four times worse than those from the global financial crisis in 2009. But the ultrarich have seen their wealth soar.

According to another report released Monday, by the anti-poverty nonprofit group Oxfam, the combined wealth of the world’s 10 richest men has risen by more than $500 billion since the crisis began — enough to vaccinate the entire planet and then some, according to the organization.

Both sets of findings identify rising inequity as one of the pandemic’s principal outcomes. “Job destruction has disproportionately affected low-paid and low‑skilled jobs,” which “points to the risk of an uneven recovery, leading to still greater inequality in the coming years,” the ILO found. That unevenness is already apparent: Global poverty could take 14 times longer to return to pre-pandemic levels than the recovery of the world’s wealthiest, according to Oxfam.

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