Ecuador saves over 56,000 jobs during pandemic, says president

QUITO (XINHUA) – The Ecuadorian government saved more than 56,000 jobs during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic thanks to a Humanitarian Aid Law that was put into force in June to combat the socio-economic crisis, President Lenin Moreno announced on Friday.

“The Humanitarian Aid Law that the government presented (in May) before the National Assembly is bearing fruit and today is showing positive results,” the president said in a message to the nation.

“Not only did we protect more than 56,000 workers, but also we facilitated the creation of 104,000 new jobs,” said the president.

The government initiative was approved by the National Assembly on May 15 and entered into force on June 22, allowing employers to cut hours for employees by up to 50 per cent while preserving the position, among other measures to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic on employment.

In June, the unemployment rate in Ecuador skyrocketted to 13.3 per cent, the highest figure recorded since 2007, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC).

To date, Ecuador has reported 117,175 cases and 6,674 deaths from COVID-19.