Salaried jobs in India have fallen by 11-12 million from around 85 million in pre-COVID-19 levels to around 73-74 million today, stated Mahesh Vyas, chief executive officer, Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).
Quoting the recent CMIE study, Vyas said, "India had 403.5 million jobs before being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2020, about 126 million jobs were lost of which about 90 million were those of daily wagers. The figure recovered and reached 400 million jobs in January 2021 or December 2020. However, after the second wave, India has 390 million jobs."
He pointed out that not everyone has got their job back and those who have got their jobs back have not necessarily got the same quality job. Salaried jobs are still falling. The situation is worse off, he added.
In addition, over 97 percent of India's population has become poorer compared to where they were in terms of income (a year ago), claimed Vyas while accounting for inflation. As per a survey by CMIE, when people were asked how's their income today compared to a year ago, only 3 percent said that their income is better than a year ago; about 55 percent stated that it is worse than a year ago, and the remaining said it is no better, no worse.
The recently released CMIE report has revealed that unemployment levels have moved into double digits, at 14.73 percent for the week ending May 23, with over 17 percent unemployment in urban India and nearly 14 percent in rural India.
Given that the average unemployment rate in rural India has been around 6 percent in recent years and the monthly unemployment rate touched 8 percent rarely in rural India before the lockdown, this 9.7 percent rate does not bode well for the economy.