Covid took a toll of 3.4 million jobs in India in April: CMIE

The second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic that hit India before the country got fully recovered from the first onslaught of the virus has taken away a total of 7.35 million jobs, including 3.4 million salaried jobs, in April, according to independent research group the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).

The unemployment rate in the country has risen to 7.97 per cent in April from 6.5 per cent in March, as the lockdowns and economic slowdown devastates small enterprises in the rural areas, CMIE managing director Mahesh Vyas said in a research report.
“Last year, the economy suffered a major shock. Before it fully recovered, the second wave of Covid caused significant shock yet again,” Vyas said.
“If the economy bounces back very quickly and robustly, these enterprises may come back to life. But the outlook does not appear promising now,” Vyas added.
At the end of December 2020, India had a total of 388.77 million employed people covering both the organised and unorganised sectors.
The number had gone up to 400.7 million in January-end, but declined to 398.2 million in February and to 398.1 million in March before falling to 390.79 million by April-end, CMIE stated quoting figures.
With the virus spreading widely in the rural areas as well, around 2.84 million salaried jobs were lost in the rural areas. With another 5.6 lakh jobs lost in the cities, the number of salaried employees stood reduced to 45.44 million in April from 46 million in March.
The number of salaried jobs in villages fell from 33.24 million in February to 30.72 million in March and to 27.88 million in April.
The report has suggested measures like additional government support to compensate workers for their lost jobs and also offset the economic impact of the pandemic.