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Thu 19 Mar 2020 08:00 AM

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Arab world risks losing 1.7m jobs due to coronavirus, says UN

Arab nations' gross domestic product is expected to shrink by at least $42bn in 2020

Arab world risks losing 1.7m jobs due to coronavirus, says UN

Covid-19 pandemic threatens to leave up to 25 million more people out of work. Image: AFP

The coronavirus pandemic threatens to wipe out more than 1.7 million jobs across the Arab world this year, the UN Economic Commission for Western Asia warned Wednesday.

Arab nations' gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to shrink by at least $42 billion in 2020, hit by plunging oil prices and virus-linked shutdowns, it said.

"More than 1.7 million jobs could be lost in 2020, with the unemployment rate increasing by 1.2 percentage points," the report said.

"Unlike in the aftermath of the global 2008 financial crisis, employment is expected to be affected across all sectors."

The International Labour Organization warned Wednesday that globally the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to leave up to 25 million more people out of work.

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online