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In a sobering report, Oxfam reveals that nearly 800 million workers worldwide have collectively lost $1.5 trillion to inflation over the past two years. This equates to almost a month’s wages for each affected worker, highlighting a stark reality of economic challenges faced by the global workforce.

The report underscores the impact of rising essential commodity prices, including food and gas, coupled with the stagnation of incomes for average-wage workers. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) notes that minimum-wage earners are particularly vulnerable, with negative real wage growth observed in many countries. Lower-income individuals, who allocate the majority of their disposable income to essentials, bear the brunt of this financial strain.

Notably, the report highlights the extraordinary wage gap, emphasizing that it would take a woman in the health and social sector 1,200 years to earn what the CEO of the largest Fortune 100 firm makes in a single year. This alarming statistic sheds light on the persistent challenges faced by workers navigating a turbulent economic landscape.

Contrastingly, the corporate realm presents a different narrative. Oxfam’s findings reveal that seven out of ten of the world’s largest corporations boast billionaire CEOs. Furthermore, only 0.4% of these corporate giants have publicly committed to providing a living wage for their staff and supporting such wages in their value chains.

Analysis of World Benchmarking Alliance data underscores the concentration of wealth at the top, with the five wealthiest individuals seeing their fortunes double from $405 billion to $869 billion since 2020. Concurrently, nearly five billion people have slipped into poverty during the same period.

Looking forward, Oxfam predicts a record-breaking year for major corporations in 2023. It estimates that 148 of the world’s largest corporations are set to accumulate $1.8 trillion in net income in the year to June 2023, reflecting a 52% increase compared to the average net earnings between 2018 and 2021.

Amidst these revelations, the report also highlights the substantial payouts to CEOs, with every $100 earned by 96 major corporations between July 2022 and June 2023 translating to $82 for wealthy shareholders. This further accentuates the widening gap between corporate elites and the workforce.

Oxfam’s annual report serves as a poignant call for comprehensive economic reforms, emphasizing the urgent need to address the expanding wealth gap and ensure fair compensation for workers on a global scale.
By: Montel Kamau
Serrari Financial Analyst
18th January, 2024

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