Collapse in jobs and work


Statistics of the National Social Security Fund showed that the number of employees declared to the fund decreased by the end of 2020 by more than 39 thousand persons, or 7%, of whom 70% were males and 30% were women. These represent the net employment and leave movement that showed their exit from the labor market during the past year. Over the past decades, this net movement has produced a surplus for the benefit of employment at the expense of leaving work, but its path slowed down in 2019, then turned to negative in 2020, and the movement of Turk became more than the movement of employment. In other words, the number of wage earners who lost their jobs is much greater. The usage movement represented 121% of the Turk movement in 2017, but it started to record a decline to 111% in 2018, then 99% in 2019 and 58% in the first half of 2020, and up to 52% at the end of 2020. In short, the Turkish movement has become Work is equivalent to double traffic use. According to statistics from the Social Security Fund, the number of people leaving work in 2020 reached about 74 thousand salaried employees, including more than 55 thousand employees who did not register again, meaning they lost their jobs permanently.

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This deterioration was reflected in the movement of affiliation to the branches of “Pensioners Guarantee” and “Optional Guarantee”. In contrast to the decline in the number of employees, the number of those registered in the retirement branch increased by 56%, and the number of those registered in the optional insurance branch increased by 38%. In total, about 9 thousand people were added to these two branches. It is remarkable that the number of affiliates to these two branches has grown and grown steadily since 2017. The number of affiliates to the retired branch increased from 2,980 in 2018 to 3,376 in 2019 and then 4,386 in 2020. Likewise, in the voluntary insurance branch, the number increased in 2018 by about 1058. In the following year, an increase of 2,493 was recorded, and in 2020 the number increased by about 4,679. The large percentage of those affiliated with these two branches are elderly or have medical conditions or large families to support them, and thus this will result in this steady increase, which is expected to accelerate in months. Next, greater burdens on the National Social Security Fund. These burdens will burden the imposition of sickness and maternity insurance, which is already saturated with debts drawn from the end of service benefits branch and accumulated unliquidated bills. It is striking that the number of those affiliated with the retirement funds and the voluntary guarantee represents 23% of the decrease in the increase in wages.
These segments who joined the retirement and optional insurance branches, whether they were retired after reaching the age of 64, or enrolled in the insurance before reaching this age, have a common concern related to obtaining health coverage for themselves and their families. They represent one of the most vulnerable groups in society, but they are not the most vulnerable or the poorest. The ability of these people to join the fund is greater than that of those who work in the informal sector and who are not declared to Social Security. We do not know anything about them yet, nor about the extent of their deteriorating living conditions. It is likely that a large percentage of them lost their jobs and left without any health coverage, except for that provided by the Ministry of Health on the clientelistic manner.
The decline in the number of people insured partly reflects the collapse in jobs and work. Last year, Lebanon witnessed an economic – monetary – and financial collapse, while the “Corona” pandemic pushed the country towards a recurring closure, and the explosion of the Beirut port came … All these negative factors have not yet revealed their final repercussions, whether in the closure of institutions or the disbursement of workers. There are many institutions that refrained from fully spending their work at the beginning of the collapse, and even offered them part-time work or a reduced salary, hoping that the situation will improve within months. However, with the passage of time, repeated closings, and the rise in the exchange rate to about 9,000 pounds per dollar, it is likely that institutions will take critical decisions to continue with a limited number of wages, or to close. This will directly translate into a greater spending of wage earners, a shrinking number of institutions, and consequently a shrinking of the size of the economy and the negative effects that this will have on the sectors. The matter will appear clearly in the formal sectors, but it will be silent in the sectors that receive unauthorized seasonal workers or the sectors that work in the informal sector.
What will emerge clearly in the coming period is that the collapse of the work structure in Lebanon will directly affect unemployment and immigration rates. Unemployment will hit record rates (even if Lebanon does not have accurate and periodic statistics on unemployment), especially in the informal economy, and immigration will be the path of the skilled and educated workforce that has lost hope and confidence.

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