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February 16, 2021, 07.02 AM


Number of Indonesians Under the Poverty Line Surges Due to Covid-19

The Statistics Indonesia [BPS] agency announced that the Covid-19 pandemic set back the government’s efforts to fight poverty during President Joko Widodo’s second term in office.

“The number of Indonesians living below the poverty line in September 2020 has reached 27.55 million people, up from 24.97 million people in September 2019,” notes BPS head Suhariyanto on Monday, February 15.

He added that this figure represents 10.19 percent of Indonesia’s population. “The primary cause for this rise in people [living below the poverty line] is the decline in income felt by all levels of society,” Suhariyanto noted.

“The lower classes felt the pinch more than [the middle and upper classes]. Seven out of 10 respondents from the lower-class said their incomes decreased significantly, compared to three out of 10 among their well-heeled counterparts.”

Suhariyanto added that the pandemic adversely affected employment numbers.

“Covid-19 has affected the earnings of 29.12 million Indonesians of working age. 2.56 million people are unemployed for the long term, while 1.77 million were temporarily unemployed,” Suhariyanto said.

“The number of unemployed has increased to 7.07 percent in August 2020, up from 5.23 percent during the same period in 2019. 24 million saw their incomes decreased, along with their working hours.”

The BPS also noted that the poverty index rose from 1.62 percent in March 2020 to 1.75 percent in September 2020.


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