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Friday news roundup May 15, 2020

Friday news roundup May 15, 2020

Manchester University becomes the first institution to confirm lectures next term will be held online. The university believes that this is the safest precaution as social distancing measures would be difficult to implement in lecture halls. The institution with over 40,000 students has told its students that the “lecture theatre environment does not easily support spatial separation.” They have also announced that freshers’ week this year will include a mixture of online and on-campus events so that anyone who cannot physically be there will be able to participate. “[A]s a university, we are absolutely committed to delivering the highest-quality learning and student experience at Manchester whilst providing the most up-to-date information. As we anticipate social distancing measures will be in place for some time, we have taken the decision to conduct all lectures for Semester 1 online,” a Manchester University spokesperson said.

Australia’s Prime Minister warns young Australians on tough employment market conditions. Scott Morrison believes times ahead will be tougher than they were during Australia’s 1990s recession. In April alone, nearly 600,000 Australians lost their jobs and unemployment for young people aged 15-24 grew by 2.2 points, double the overall national rate. The latest figures indicate that jobs for workers aged 15-25 fell by nearly 11%. “The job culture here in the country makes it so hard for people to get jobs in the first place, before the pandemic. My experience with fast food and retail is they prefer much younger workers, so they can pay them a lot less,” Mr Avery, a member of the Australian Unemployed Workers' Union commented. Adam Bandt, Greens leaders, has said that more than 37% of young Australians are unemployed or do not have sufficient hours. “Young people are carrying much of the burden of the current crisis and they may be locked out of meaningful work for years,” Bandt added.

Nepal’s remittance-dependent economy costs lives. Currently remittances comprise 25% of Nepal’s gross domestic product but according to figures from Nepal’s Labor Migration Report, at least 7,467 migrant workers have died abroad since 2008, and that figure does not include illegal workers. 750 of those deaths were reported between 2018 and 2019 with three to four bodies of Nepali migrant workers arriving at Kathmandu airport each day. According to Chandan Sapkota, an economist with the Nepal Economic Forum: “Remittances have been keeping the economy afloat for a long time now. Despite the conflict and the political instability, remittances are the reason why government revenue is increasing and banks have high levels of liquidity.” According to migration experts there are between three to four million Nepali migrants across the globe and most migrants deaths happen in Qatar, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The common denominator seems to be that in those countries Nepalis perform the dirtiest, most difficult and dangerous jobs.


Read more Covid-19 content on IZA World of Labor. You can also find our recent opinion pieces on the pandemic and its effects here.