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Young Turks: Experts discuss second COVID wave impact on employment

Updated : June 03, 2021 20:46:17 IST

Employment in India fell from 390.8 million in April 2021 to 375.5 million in May, a 3.9 percent fall according to the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy or CMIE.

While the loss of 15.3 million jobs number is nowhere close to the loss of 114 million jobs in April 2020 due to a nationwide lockdown, it is quite alarming as May’s number is higher than the fall recorded in November 2016, post demonetisation.

It is quite clear that the labour market crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. In fact, CMIE data shows that May is also the fourth consecutive month of a fall in employment and is worrisome since just in April and May India lost 25 million non-farm jobs - an indication of the pain in the informal economy.

While the second wave has hurt economic activity across the board, startups and small businesses were better equipped and implemented learnings, leveraged technology to survive and sustain their businesses as per consulting and research firm Zinnov. SMBs across sectors have laid off employees as demand and sales were affected, hiring activity is expected to accelerate albeit conservatively once the economy opens up.

Startups in sectors like e-commerce, healthtech, edtech, delivery, logistics and fintech have been actively hiring due to the surge in demand. However, recovery of jobs in travel, hospitality, mobility and many others is going to take a while.

To understand the impact of COVID-19 on jobs, CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan spoke to Madan Padaki, Co-Founder of Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship; Gayathri Vasudevan, Chairperson of Labournet Services; and Gurpreet Singh, Co-Founder of Awign.

Watch the video for more.
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