Coronavirus economic impact: One in four employed lost job across India in March-April, CMIE

Latest figures of the CMIE jobs survey up to May 3 show the unemployment rate rising even further to 27.1 per cent, the highest so far.

   
job survey CMIE

A job crisis is staring the country in the face as several crucial sectors of the economy have been severely impacted by lockdown due to coronavirus. Among the worst-hit are small, medium and micro enterprises, hotels and restaurants, multiplexes, retail, airlines, manufacturing, and media. This has led to job cuts as firms scampered to deal with the emergency.

As per the latest monthly data from CMIE, India’s unemployment rate shot up to 23.5 per cent in the month of April. Among large states, unemployment was highest in Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, and Bihar at 49.8 per cent, 47.1 per cent, and 46.6 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, it was lowest in Punjab, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana at 2.9 per cent, 3.4 per cent, and 6.2 per cent respectively.

Situation has become even more grave as the latest figures of the CMIE jobs survey up to May 3 show the unemployment rate rising even further to 27.1 per cent, the highest so far.

Mahesh Vyas, managing director and CEO of CMIE quoted, “the estimated loss of employment between March and April 2020 is 114 million. Given that the total count of employed is around 400 million, the loss of 114 million implies that one in every four employed persons lost their jobs.”

He further added that that data up to May 3 indicated the rate could climb further. In fact, the labour participation rate (a measure of the active workforce in the economy) is extremely low and in April it was 35.6%. Vyas said also quoted that an extension of the lockdown could worsen the situation.

“We saw the unemployment rate rise from 23% initially to 24% and then 26% during April. Evidently, a further extension of the lockdown will make matters much worse for labour and relaxation can bring some instant, albeit small relief,” said Vyas.

Large-scale migration could exacerbate the situation by leading to a shortage of skilled labour in certain sectors.






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