The service sector still seems to be struggling to cope, a study done by the state’s Department of Economics and Statistics revealed.

Migrant workers returning home state Image for representation
Coronavirus Economy Monday, November 02, 2020 - 19:28

Kerala saw a 74% loss in employment in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the unincorporated sector (manufacturing, trade and other services), a study by the state’s Department of Economics and Statistics has revealed. Apart from employment, the state’s enterprises also lost 79% revenue and 84% of its operational days.

The figures stood at 53% for employment, 61% for revenue and 65% for operational days in May, further recovering to 32%, 44% and 29% respectively in June.

Employment

In terms of employment, the largest impact was seen on the unorganised sector workforce, which comprises native and migrant workers. The report stated that the pandemic pushed the migrant workers to the grave situation of quitting their jobs and returning to their home states. “This economic upheaval resulted in unemployment at its extreme. Thus, extremely high levels of unemployment crept up as a result of this economic upheaval,” it further stated.

While April saw 73% of native workers and 81% migrant workers losing jobs, the representation of native workers increased in subsequent months with migrant workers unable to return. But the report states that in July almost 55% of the migrant workers were either out of work or not available for work.

The services sector was impacted the most with 78% of the sector losing jobs in April, followed by the manufacturing sector (77%).

Sectors such as manufacturing of textiles, of apparel, non-metallic mineral products, education, and travel agencies among others saw a significant drop in employment between April-July, with little recovery.

Revenue

As the lockdown seriously affected the operation of the enterprises in various sectors, this in turn reduced the operating expenses of enterprises in the manufacturing, trade and other services sectors.

In the month of April, revenues of enterprises declined 90% in the service sector whereas for the manufacturing and trade sector it declined 86% and 71% respectively. In the subsequent months together with the different unlock phases, revenue decline was seen to recover with the manufacturing sector recovering almost 50% its normal revenue by June.

As per the study, the service sector still seems to be struggling to cope with the current scenario.

Out of the 9,261 enterprises studied across the state, 3,115 reported having a loan associated with the enterprise while 2,808 enterprises delayed repaying their loan due to the lockdown. This included 90% of manufacturing companies surveyed, 88% of trade companies and 90% of companies in other services.

Other services included companies involved in hairdressing activities, educational activities, transport activities, travel agency and tour activities, etc.

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