As India continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic with more than 2.7 million cases having been recorded thus far, life as most people knew it seems to have come to a halt. People had been urged to stay home whenever possible and even months later many businesses and industries remain shut.
For many this had translated to job loss. While the unorganised sector had borne the brunt of it as the lockdown began in March, over time, it is the formal sector that has seen bigger repercussions. And even as a few odd companies continue to actively recruit people, others say that they have been left with no option but to begin large scale layoffs.
This is not limited to one sector or even India alone. From IndiGo to Swiggy and from International Business Machines (IBM) to Cognizant -- hundreds have lost their jobs in the last few months.
In June a Livemint report, had opined that it was likely that around 30% of India's urban populace could be out of savings by the end of the month, possibly making them unable to cover even basic expenses. This translates to around 139 million families. And while the multi-phased unlock process is likely to have improved the situation slightly, it is by no means 'fixed'.
According to a Business Standard report from Tuesday, salaried jobs have taken the biggest hit amid the pandemic, having declined by around 22% during the lockdown. In contrast, data suggests that informal jobs, despite the initial crushing blow have returned and even increased.
The report cites the financial statements of 1,560 companies to say that their wage bill had recorded a 2.9% YoY growth in the quarter that ended in June 2020. This, the article says, is the lowest in 18 years.
There are more than 86 million salaried jobs in India, and according to the report, data shows variations when it comes to different industries. While the net result indicates only a small loss of jobs, if one looks deeper, data suggests that some industries had seen big job losses. Estimates show a loss of 17 million salaried jobs in the quarter, the report adds.
Keep in mind that India continues to be in the grip of the pandemic. And that this data is only till the end of June.