Unemployment soars in Latin America in the wake of the coronavirus


Some Latin American countries are seeing shocking unemployment figures as the United Nations warns that the pandemic has caused hunger to rise in the region.


“The fallout from the pandemic is being felt hardest in Latin America,” the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) said in a statement. “[Latin America] has seen an almost three-fold rise in the number of people requiring food assistance, and among urban communities in low and middle-income countries, which are being dragged into destitution by job losses and a precipitous drop in remittances.”
Millions of people are out of work in Brazil, Chile and Colombia, which have all attempted to re-open sectors of their economies but were hit with fast-spreading infections.
In Brazil, a record 7.8 million people lost work between March and May, according to new figures released by the country’s statistical agency, Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IGBE).
The institute put the figure of people who are still working in Brazil at the end of May at just 49.5%.”For the first time in the historical survey series, the level of occupation was below 50%,” IBGE said in a statement.
Since data collection started in 2012, “this had never happened,” IGBE analyst Adriana Beringuy said in a statement. “This means that less than half of the working age population is working,” Beringuy added.
Economists are pointing to a historic economic recession in Brazil due to coronavirus, which has decimated an already struggling economy. But as Brazilian cities attempt to reopen economic activity, coronavirus cases are skyrocketing.
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The country has recorded more than 1.4 million cases of the disease according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the second highest count in the world behind the US.

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