Nearly 50 lakh salaried people have suffered job losses in July due to COVID-19 according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). This makes the number of unemployed persons in the category about 181 lakh. The job loss has worsened for salaried employees since the beginning of the lockdown.
Despite the recovery in overall unemployment, this number is a source of worry, says CMIE. The data shows that in April, the number of salaried workers who lost their jobs was about 177 lakhs, and an additional 1 lakh people lost their jobs in May. After that, in July, 50 lakh jobs were lost, although 39 lakh jobs were gained in June (concentrated in the informal sector).
About 21% of all employment in India is salaried. Given that salaried employment is more resistant to economic shocks, it accounted for just 15% of all job losses in April. But that doesn’t mean this is easy to bounce back from.
“While salaried jobs are not lost easily, once lost they are also far more difficult to retrieve. Therefore, their ballooning numbers are a source of worry,” says the CMIE.
The pandemic has also affected students looking for jobs and internships
The overall unemployment rate in India is estimated to go up to 32.5%. A report titled, ‘Tackling the Covid-19 youth employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific’ states that in India, two-thirds of firm-level apprenticeship and three quarters of internships were disrupted during the pandemic.
The report suggests that governments must adopt measures to keep the youth on track – taking large-scale, targeted measures to generate jobs and continuing with a robust education and training plan is a good start.
The current situation is grim for both students who are worried about losing an academic year owing to the debates around final exams, and for salaried employees who are suffering job losses and pay cuts.
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