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COVID and unemployment: Rise due to lean period in agri, says CMIE’s Mahesh Vyas

Updated : May 04, 2021 15:01:05 IST

The fall in employment is due to lean period in agriculture, said Mahesh Vyas, MD & CEO of Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), on Tuesday.

The COVID-19 second wave and the subsequent fresh restrictions, which began in April, have pushed up the unemployment rate in both urban and rural areas.

The overall unemployment rate in the month of April stands at almost 8 percent and it’s the highest in 4-months. This is according to the data which is compiled by CMIE.

Speaking in an interview with CNBC-TV18, Vyas said, “The fall in employment is large because this was a lean period for agriculture, the month of April. So we have a big fall of 7.25 million jobs that are lesser compared to March. Six million job losses have come from the farm sector. April is kind of a slack period and therefore we saw 6 million jobs reduced in the farm sector out of the 7.25 million.”

“The not so encouraging part of the jobs data in April is that we still lost 2.8 million jobs in the salaried segment and this is the third consecutive month where salaried jobs were lost. Last month (March) we lost about 6 million salaried jobs, this month we lose 2.8 million salaried jobs and even two months ago we lost less than a million salaried jobs. So the hit that salaried jobs are taking is serious and that’s what we should worry about,” he said.

On daily wage jobs, Vyas said, “If you have a lockdown it impacts daily wage earners. If you don’t have a lockdown then the daily wage earners are not as badly impacted and that’s what we see this time although there is a fall in employment but the fall hasn’t come largely from the daily wage workers,” he said.

For the entire interview, watch the video
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