International Labour Organisation (ILO) said on Wednesday that global labour income dropped by 10.7 per cent in the first three quarters compared to the same period in 2019.
It said in Geneva that the drop was because of the coronavirus pandemic, which had led to a sharp reduction in working hours.
The wage loss, which does not factor in income support by governments, amounts to 3.5 trillion dollars, the UN agency reported.
The ILO added that the loss in global working hours in the second quarter was bigger than expected, compared to pre-crisis levels in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The drop was 17.3 per cent, equivalent to 495 million full-time jobs.
The ILO had previously estimated a loss of 14 per cent, or 400 million jobs.
The UN body also issued a significantly gloomier outlook for the final three months of this year.
The global working hour loss in the fourth quarter is now expected to amount to 8.6 per cent, up from the previous forecast of 4.9 per cent.
The numbers were revised because it has become clear that “workers in developing and emerging economies, especially those in informal employment, have been affected to a much greater extent than in past crises,” the ILO said in a report.
Workers in those countries are more affected by the pandemic than richer countries because they have fewer opportunities to work online from home and because the informal labour sector has taken a hard hit, the ILO said.
In addition, governments in poorer countries have less money to counter the COVID-19 crisis.