The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), a business information company, has said that the Indian labour market is in its worst condition since April-May last year when the whole country was under lockdown. The employment rate continues to worsen amid the second wave of COVID-19. Mahesh Vyas, the chief executive officer (CEO) of CMIE, noted that the last four weeks have seen a particularly sharp deterioration in labour market conditions.
According to the data published by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, the unemployment rate, which reached 11.9% in May 2021, continued to rise during early June. The 30-day moving average unemployment rate, as of June 6, 2021, was 13%. Further, the labour participation rate, which had fallen to 40%, has fallen further to 39.7%. In May, the employment rate, which is the most important labour market indicator, had fallen to 35.3%. This further dropped to 34.6% by June 6, 2021.
Vyas, however, said that a quick recovery of the informal jobs that were lost in the unorganised sectors is expected because of the local lockdowns. But there is also a steady fall in employment, independent of the lockdowns, added the CMIE CEO.
The total non-farm jobs lost since January 2021 works out to 36.8 million. Of this, daily wage labourers account for 23.1 million. Salaried employees account for 8.5 million and the rest are entrepreneurs, as per CMIE.
It would take a strong recovery of the Indian economy to recover the remaining jobs or revert to the employment levels of 2019-20, he said.
"The unlocking process can be expected to repair about two-thirds of the job losses associated with the lockdown of May 2021. That would be 17 million out of the 25 million non-farm jobs lost during the month," Vyas added.