By Birhanu Fikade Reoprter 

The Job Creation Commission has stated that some 3.3 million jobs were created in the concluded fiscal year, until the COVID-19 pandemic wiped-out some 330,000 jobs within four months.

In a press conference held on Thursday, Ephraim Teklu (PhD), Commissioner of Job Creation Commission told reporters that the government was working to create some three million jobs during the concluded Ethiopian fiscal year. That was achieved resulting in an additional 330,000 jobs. However, due to the effects of the pandemic, those additional jobs have been lost, creating more uncertain future for the new fiscal year, the commissioner noted.

According to Ephraim, out of the three million jobs, only 62 percent were found to be sustainable while the remaining being temporary jobs, will likely terminate in less than a year.

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looking at earlier moderate projections by the Commission, out of the seven million jobs created within the manufacturing, construction and services sectors, close to 1.5 million jobs could have been lost in just the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic. With proper physical distancing measures in place, both the manufacturing and construction sector alone could have seen a 1.1 million job losses. Similarly estimates show if COVID-19 remains among the society for six months, the likely job losses in the manufacturing and construction sectors could reach 1.8 million. In addition to physical distancing, staying at home, the likely wait and see attitudes of businesses could have also exacerbated the severe conditions businesses are in and lead to massive lay-offs.

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When it comes to income and welfare losses, some 1.9 million self-employed individuals could have lost an estimated USD 265 million in income and 310,000 individuals employed for wages, could have lost their earnings in three months, as projected by the Job Creation Commission earlier in April.

According to Ephraim, that much impact was not witnessed because the economy was allowed to function and only a partial lockdown was entertained.

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Despite such measures, the government has introduced a USD 42 billion emergency and stimulation package, to help vulnerable citizens and businesses sustain the blows of the virus. The regular food relief assistances have also been extended to reach 30 million beneficiaries.

The Commission, in its part, has been engaged with potential donors and partners, and so far, has managed to receive USD 384 million in new funds, for the coming years. It also targets to create some 14 million new jobs in the coming five years and 20 million within ten years.

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