Since the imposition of lockdown from April in the country, the employment sector has taken a hard hit. Around 5 million salaried Indians lost their jobs to the lockdown in July alone. The figure for total jobs lost since April is about 18.9 million, as per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s (CMIE) report. The data also says that the job losses in July occurred after about 3.9 million jobs gained in June. However, in April alone, an unfathomable number of 17.7 million lost jobs together, an immediate effect of the coronavirus outbreak and lockdowns.
CMIE CEO Mahesh Vyas expressed his concern over the escalating figures. Vyas said, “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.” The CMIE data also reflects the hit taken by informal sectors and daily wage workers, along with the formal sector. Nearly 6.8 million daily wage earners lost their livelihoods since the lockdown. At the same time, 14.9 million people resorted to farming for this period.
After the sudden lockdown was imposed, numerous firms, companies, and industries laid off thousands of salaried employees.
Employees and workers also suffered pay cuts and paid leaves were no longer mandatory. While the lockdown failed to curb the COVID 19 spread, it further spread unemployment and a sinking economy. IT and BPO sector employees in these last months have had agonizing experiences. Many corporations even stalled and refused to pay the employees their dues. A number of other companies have informed employees of withholding their salaries. And also not getting any payments for May, June, and July.
As per reports by Naukri, the hotel industry witnessed a 95% drop in hiring since lockdown. The hospitality sector also saw a 93% dip in demand for hospitality professions, along with a 62% decline in hiring for accounting and a 61% drop for BPO, the ITEs worker. Last Thursday, on 20th August, the center gave relief to industrial workers as it announced to give half of their salaries as an unemployment allowance for three months. This gives lakhs of workers a sigh of relief, since the increased hardships caused by the lockdown.
The job loss left no industry or sector untouched. It took all engineers, NGOs, Journalists, Pilots, rickshaw drivers, hawkers, and daily wage earners with a blow. While some sectors are struggling to get back to their feet, only a few managed to get employment, and mostly at lower salaries. Disappointment and adversities loom over the future of millions as the situation and economy seem to remain destabilized.