18.9 Mn Salaried Indians Lost Their Jobs since April, Ballooning Nos Worrying: CMIE About 5 million jobs were lost in July alone and salaried jobs were nearly 1.9 crore short of their average in 2019-20, CMIE data shows.

By Shipra Singh

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Due to the impact of Covid-19 induced lockdowns, about 1.89 crore salaried Indians have lost their jobs since April, suggests Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). Of this, around 50 lakh jobs alone were lost in July.

The number of salaried individuals losing their jobs was the highest in April at 1.77 crore, followed by a relatively smaller number of 1 lakh jobs in May, CMIE data shows. Next month in June, 39 lakh jobs were gained but about 50 lakh jobs lost in the following month of July.

Salaried jobs were nearly 1.9 crore short of their average in 2019-20 and 22 per cent lower than their level in the last fiscal year, data shows.

Informal Sector Sees Recovery, but Salaried Employees Distressed

April, the first month of countrywide lockdown, saw about 121.5 million jobs washed out, including jobs in the informal sector as well as salaried jobs. Small traders, hawkers and daily wage labourers were the worst hit by the lockdown in April as 91.2 million of the 121.5 million jobs lost were among these.

"Large numbers of these (informal workers) people lost their source of livelihood so quickly because their employment is almost entirely informal. They have an employment in hand only when the economy around them is humming," said Mahesh Vyas, MD and CEO, CMIE in an article published on the website.

However, dependency of informal sector worker's livelihoods on the economy also means that as the economy unlocks in steps, these jobs also come back almost in lockstep. "Of the 91.2 million such (small traders and daily wage labourers) jobs lost in April, 14.4 million came back in May, 44.5 million in June and 25.5 million in July. Only 6.8 million remain to return," Vyas said.

But, the recovery picture of salaried employees remains grim.

"While salaried jobs are not lost easily, once lost they are also far more difficult to retrieve," said Vyas.

To support his argument he explains that while all kinds of work are equally honorable, jobs have a qualitative pecking order. For example, a regular salaried job is better than an informal arrangement of employment in the unorganised sector. In this context, of all the major types of employment discussed here, it is the salaried employment that is the most preferred. Also, these are more resilient to economic shocks than the employment of say, a daily wage labourer, said Vyas.

"Therefore, their ballooning numbers are a source of worry," he said.

Shipra Singh

Entrepreneur Staff

Freelance Journalist

Now a freelance journalist, ealier steered the Wealth section on the Entrepreneur website, covering everything finance. Previously a personal finance reporter at The Economic Times and Outlook Money.

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