5 million employees turned jobless during COVID-19, says ‘CMIE’

Nearly 5 million salaried employees lost their livelihood and became jobless in July 2020. Despite the recovery in the overall employment rate, the CMIE said that cautioning the ballooning number of job losses among the salaried class is a source of worry.

Centre for Monitoring India Economy (CMIE) a private think tank, shows that 17.7 million salaried employees were jobless in April 2020 and around 0.1 million in May. However, 3.9 jobs were gained back in June but another 5 million jobs were lost in July. The CMIE said that the recovery rate in the job scenario is an unhealthy one.

“On a net basis, the plight of salaried employees has worsened since the lockdown began. In April, they lost 17.7 million jobs. But by July, their losses had swelled to 18.9 million,” Mahesh Vyas, CEO of Centre of Monitoring India Economy, wrote in the report.

CMIE mentioned that only 21% of all employment in India is in the form of a salaried job. These jobs are more resilient to economic shocks and hence the recovery rate isn’t a healthy one. Mahesh Vyas said, “The recovery is largely in informal jobs. The situation has worsened for the relatively better jobs, i.e. salaried jobs. While jobs have recovered, this recovery has left out healthier, salaried jobs. In this sense, it is an unhealthy recovery.”

The report further added, “While salaried jobs are not lost easily, once lost they are also far more difficult to retrieve.” The report showed that the salaried jobs are short by 19 million on an average of 2019-20.

The report also added that around 1.5 crore jobs were included in the farming sector but there is no data to suggest reverse migration of people, it clarified.

COVID-19 had disturbed the economic activities by infecting 2.7 million people in the country. The CMIE data stated that out of 121.5 million jobs lost in April 91.2 million belonged to the small traders, hawkers and daily wage labourers. “This category of employment accounted for about 32 per cent of the total employment but, it suffered 75 per cent of the hit in April,” the data showed.

However, out of 91.2 million jobs that were lost, 14.4 million came back in May, followed by 44.5 million in June and 25.5 million in July respectively. Only 6.8 million remain to return, the report further continued.

30% of the employed people lost their employment in April and less than 3% were deprived of the basic needs by July.11 million job losses is still a significant setback, CMIE report said.

CMIE also mentioned that this reflects the level of desperation that the Indians have to get their jobs after a rather extended involuntary break.

However, it is going to be very difficult for the salaried class to gain their jobs and set their lives on track once again.

Image Credits- Quartz India

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