About 21 million salaried employees lost their jobs during April-August, with about 3.3 million jobs being lost in August and 4.8 million in July, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) said. The job losses are not only confined to only the support staff among salaried employees but also includes industrial workers and white-collar workers, it said.
Salaried jobs in August came down to 65 million from 86 million in the country in the full year of 2019-20. “The deficit of 21 million jobs is the biggest among all types of employment. About 4.8 million salaried jobs were lost in July and then in August, another 3.3 million jobs were gone,” the CMIE said.
As per the monthly CMIE data, the unemployment rate of the country rose to 8.35 per cent in August from 7.40 per cent in the previous month. Urban unemployment rate inched higher to 9.83 per cent in August from 9.37 per cent seen in the previous month, while rural unemployment rate increased to 7.65 per cent in August from 6.51 per cent in the month-ago period, the CMIE data showed.
“The unemployment rate, which has been falling so far after April, increased from 7.4 per cent in July to 8.4 per cent in August. This is a significant jump. As a result, the employment rate fell from 37.6 per cent to 37.5 per cent in the same period,” it said.
The CMIE said salaried jobs are getting impacted the most during the ongoing economic growth contraction. Salaried jobs do not seem to grow in tandem with economic growth, or even with an increase in entrepreneurship.
Salaried jobs extend beyond those provided by such organisations including people employed by households on a salaried basis such as maids, cooks, chauffeurs, gardeners, guards which comprise the informal salaried jobs. All salaried jobs put together account for 21-22 per cent of total employment in India.
Farming has been the last resort for people who lost jobs during the lockdown, with employment in farming rising by 14 million by August as against 111 million employees during 2019-20. Employment as entrepreneurs had declined earlier in the lockdown but by August, it increased by nearly 7 million from 78 million, the CMIE said.
Daily wage labourers also were impacted, accounting for 91 million of the 121 million jobs lost during April. By August, it recovered to, now, have a deficit of a little less than 11 million jobs from 128 million jobs in 2019-20, it said.