A new study from the Institute of Physics seems to indicate that billions of working hours have been lost to excessive heat globally. Exports fear the trend will accelerate in the next decades as the planet warms. More than 675 billion labor hours are lost every year because of excessive heat and humidity. The research confirms projections of annual labor losses way higher than previously estimated.
According to the data, those losses mostly impact agriculture and construction but affect many different sectors. Globally, the productivity loss related to excessive heat tops 2.1 trillion in purchasing power. It seems that 10 percent of the production capacity is lost to unbearable outdoor working conditions.
According to researchers, about 30 percent of those losses could be recovered by shifting work hours and having them rescheduled during cooler hours of the day.
“Our labor loss estimates are limited to workers in agriculture, fisheries, forestry and construction, but these sectors represent a significant proportion of the overall workforce in many regions, with approximately 69 percent of workers in low-income countries working in agricultural and other primary-sector occupations,” the researchers wrote.
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