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Society

Indonesian informal workers lose work in coronavirus outbreak

Income support needed for many on the lower rungs of the economy

Indonesian ride-hailing startup Go-Jek has created millions of informal jobs that are vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

JAKARTA -- Ride-hailing drivers and others working in Indonesia's informal economy have lost work after the government responded this week to the coronavirus pandemic by urging people to work from home if possible.

Indonesia has the largest economy in Southeast Asia. As with other developing countries in Asia-Pacific, more than half its workers are in the informal sector. There is therefore a risk that any policy missteps in battling the COVID-19 virus will aggravate poverty.

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