Half of the Asia-Pacific region’s workforce is poor or on the verge of poverty, surviving on $5.5 per day, according to a report released by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
The UNESCAP report said that with more than half the region’s population excluded from any social protection, the workforce is highly vulnerable to systematic shocks such as pandemics or economic downturns.
The region’s workforce is insufficiently productive, healthy, and protected, although progress has been made since 2015, the report adds. The main reason is that two in three workers are employed informally. That is 1.4 billion workers, 600 million of whom are found in the agricultural sector, according to the “2022 Social Outlook for Asia and the Pacific: The Workforce We Need”.