Among these, engineers including software engineers, physicians, teachers, accountants, analysts saw biggest loss of jobs.

Employees working in an office that looks relatively emptyImage Credit:
Money Unemployment Friday, September 18, 2020 - 12:41

Over six million white-collar professional employees have lost their jobs from May to August 2020, compared to the same period last year, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said. Among white-collar professionals, engineers including software engineers, physicians, teachers, accountants, analysts saw the biggest loss of jobs. During May-August 2019, the number of employed white-collar professionals was at 18.8 million, which fell to 12.2 million during May-August 2020, a drop of 6.6 million.

According to CMIE, this is the lowest employment for this category of professionals since 2016. “All the gains made in their employment over the past four years were washed away during the lockdown,” it said in a report.

These jobs, which are classified as ’White-collar professional employees and other employees’ had 12.5 million people employed during January-April 2016, which increased to 18.7 million in September-December 2019 and then fell to 18.1 million during the wave of January-April 2020.

CMIE does a Consumer Pyramids Household Survey, which is released every four months. The 20th wave was conducted entirely during the lockdown, from May through August 2020. This survey showed that the biggest loss of jobs among salaried employees was of ’White-collar professional employees and other employees’.

However, this data does not include professionally qualified persons that run their own business or practice.

The next biggest loss was among industrial workers, with 5 million jobs being lost from May to August 2020, as compared to the same period last year. CMIE says there was a 26% fall in employment among industrial workers over a year.

CMIE’s analysis also shows that the decline in employment of industrial workers is likely to be largely in the smaller industrial units. This reflects the distress in the medium, small and micro industrial units in recent times.

CMIE says that the lockdown did not impact white collar clerical employees, which largely include desk-work employees ranging from secretaries and office clerks to BPO/KPO workers, data-entry operators, etc.

“Possibly, their work shifted to the Work-from-Home mode. This category of workers has not been seeing any growth since 2016. In fact, it has slid quite sharply since 2018 from about 15 million to less than 12 million by 2020. Interestingly, it did not slide any further during the lockdown,” CMIE’s analysis shows.

CMIE earlier stated that 121 million jobs were lost in April alone, but most of these jobs recovered by August. However, CMIE has said that there was a deterioration in the condition of salaried jobs during this period.

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