PanamaTimes

Friday, Jun 14, 2024

Apede predicts loss of 250,000-300,000 jobs if immediate actions are not taken

Apede predicts loss of 250,000-300,000 jobs if immediate actions are not taken

The Panamanian Association of Business Executives (Apede) warned that the effects of the coronavirus pandemic may lead the country to an economic collapse and that the projection is that this year 2020 more than 250 thousand jobs will be lost.
"We are facing a strong loss of formal jobs as a result of the fall in demand and consumption. If immediate actions are not taken, before the end of 2020, we would be facing an imminent economic collapse, with the loss of between 250,000 and 300,000 jobs. Between 125,000 and 150,000 would be formal, particularly from micro, small, and medium-sized companies (MSMEs) in the commerce, industry, logistics, hotels / restaurants and financial services sectors," read Apede's statement.

The Association points out that the sectors that will be most affected at this time are those that generate 59% of all private sector jobs (formal and informal) and contributed 3 out of 5 new jobs generated in the last 5 years.

In addition, Apede indicates that 35% of jobs at risk are expected to be occupied by young people under 30, who before COVID-19 already faced the highest unemployment rate in 14 years.

Given this possible situation, the group proposes to the National Government that the business sector, labor sector and organized civil society, promote the construction of a National Pact that allows consensus to develop a strategy to overcome this health and economic crisis, which affect well-being social of the population.

Apede's proposal to achieve a safe and effective reactivation calls for immediate analysis of relevant aspects of the reopening process:

- Comprehensive opening by region. The block reopening scheme does not allow an effective reactivation, since many companies that have been allowed to open depend on the demand that will be generated with the activation of other blocks, preventing the expected reincorporation of workers.

- Reactivation of the construction sector due to its multiplier effect on job creation and its low risk of contagion, vs. other activities, when it takes place in open spaces.

- Establish a detailed plan for emergency financial assistance through the banking sector that enables reopening and economic recovery actions for the most affected sectors and companies.

- That the public sector, business sector and labor sector work on pragmatic and constructive proposals, far from political positions, that allow bilateral labor arrangements, designed to preserve employment.
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