We are not only in the middle of a pandemic but also in the middle of a job epidemic as well because the center for the monitoring of the Indian economy has said, 27% of the labor now seems to be unemployed. 27% of the employment data that the center for monitoring of the Indian economy has reported are people who have lost their jobs, which means that the data was about 7% before the lockdown, it’s now jumped up significantly and that’s deeply problematic. What’s worse is that things could take a turn south from here on as well. As India moves towards rebuilding lives and livelihood, a Mumbai based think tank has raised the alarm. A serious employment crisis has taken place in the country as several crucial sectors of the economy have been severely impacted by the coronavirus lockdown. The latest monthly data from the center for monitoring the Indian economy says one out of four employed people has lost their jobs. The data shows that India’s unemployment rate shot up to 23.5 % in July compared to 7 % in January. The rate of unemployed is the highest at 24.95 in the urban areas which include the majority of red zones created by the COVID 19 cases. The lockdown impact has been most severe on small, medium, and micro-enterprises like hotels and restaurants, multiplexes, retail, airlines, manufacturing, and media. This has led to job cuts as firms are scampering to deal with the emergency and the situation is not set to improve anytime soon. The United Nations labor body has warned that about 400 million people working in the informal economy in India are at risk of falling deeper into poverty due to the coronavirus crisis. The ILO says that the pandemic is expected to wipeout 100 million fulltime jobs in India. With India’s economy already in a downward slide before the pandemic hit, the urgency corrective measures are now at the emergency pitch.
The economy wheel runs on two things, it is consumption and production. If consumption and production don’t happen at the same speed, the economy will be in balance. Because of the lockdown, production has gone into standstill mode and consumption has come down, demand has come down. So the consumption is affected and since we are all locked inside our homes our production is also on-demand. Today the economic activity is on stop which is going to put a lot of pressure on all these operations, factories, companies and they may not be able to operate as usual as before. Soon after the crisis, they may have a cash crisis or debt crisis, various other problems, and even have faced demand problems because there may not be sufficient demand for the products or services. Because of all this, there will be a lot of job cuts. As per the mint newspaper, there are about 49.5 crore people working in India. Out of this, about 3 crore people are already unemployed. This means about 46.5 crore people were employed before this crisis. Now within this 46.5 core people, about 20.5 crore people are employed in the farm sector (i.e.) into agriculture and they are mostly farmers or farmed laborers. This indicates that the other 25 crore people are employed in other than the farm sector. They may be manufacturing or service or government sector and on. Out of this 25 crore, 2.3 crores are employed by various governments. So all this show that we have 23 crore people working in all other various fields from small scale to big scale. But unfortunately, as per EPF (the Employees Provident Fund Organization) report that only 5 crore people are regularly contributing to equals. Hence, out of 23 crores, only 5 crores are contributing then the remaining 18 crore people are mostly into the informal sector. They may not have any contract with an employer; they can be these retail jobs, into those who work in small shops, etc. These people may not have a formal contract or agreement with their employers and it is this population that is hit the most. Because it’s easy to remove them from their employment for they were never under an agreement, to begin with.
The central government has passed an advisory asking establishment not to lay off their people during this crisis but this advisory is not an order. This advisory is applicable to those who are registered with TP of Employees Provident for domination. It is not for everyone because they don’t even know that these people are working for the absence of the formal structure.
The most notable affected sector’s report:
- Lets take the travel, hospitality, and tourism industry. As for their federation (i.e.) Tourism hospitality association, they predict about 4 crore jobs will be lost due to this crisis because we can understand the fact that 10% of global GDP, that’s about 8 trillion dollars belongs to travel and tourism and hospitality industry. Because of the corona crisis, people are completely locked inside the home and are not traveling and hence the aviation industries are completely in the standstill mode, the hospitality industry is in a bad shape. Those who are employed in this space are losing their jobs, which is a very big concern today that’s going to cause a lot of unrest in society. It’s going to be 3 times worse than what we saw in 2008, right after the subprime crisis.
- Now we move on to manufacturing. We know that it’s because of the balance of consumption and production that the economy runs. But today because the consumption has gone down, the demand has gone down; you will see a lot of downturns in the manufacturing space because even if I manufacture something people will not have money to buy and manufacturing has severely been affected. Similarly the automobile industry, people don’t have money today to buy new bikes or cars and there is a lot of staggering in industrial production and sales.
- In other sectors like IT, today what is happening is these guys are largely dependent on manufacturing companies, they are dependent on aviation companies to render their services. Now that these sectors are also affected because of that the business to these IT companies is going down, which means people who are employed in this place has lost the job and those who have it might turn unemployed in due course.
- The most severely hit sector is farm agriculture because the potential levels aren’t going to be losing their jobs, it’s these daily wage laborer who is working in agriculture space are not having jobs. This particular season is the time the farmers cultivate their crops and are set to sell it. But due to the lockdown, many were not able to sell it, unable to transport their goods due to transportation stops. Markets and cities have closed down and they weren’t able to sell their produce and now they do not have money to cultivate again. Many farmers have lost hope in life and preferring death than dealing with another year of poverty. This might not be an important issue in the eyes of government right now, but let’s just hope we don’t get to see a day where there are no farmers, no agriculture then that could become the biggest crisis than coronavirus itself.
- The real state’s industry is the second largest employer in India next to farming as construction space creates a lot of employment. Due to this crisis, people have completely stopped or postponed the idea of buying a flat or building the house. Because of this lot of construction laborers had lost their jobs which have resulted in a severe impact on real estate space.
Keeping all this in mind if you are employed in any sector irrespective of farming, IT, real estate, or whatever the sector is, it is going to be the survival of fittest. Literally, millions have lost their job and turned unemployed not know what to do next. Seeing how the coronavirus is increasing day by day and lockdown still prevailing, the future seems dreadful. There is going to be a threat to the worker in all sectors. Even before the COVID outbreak, the Indian economy was going down due to unemployment and youths were waiting for job opportunities but after the outbreak, it seems to have worsened the condition of employment in India. Inside of getting jobs, even those who had it are losing it or had lost it and forced to sit at home. Then imagine what would the future of post-COVID days are yet to bring. The coronavirus has bought social distancing fear in us which has led to the innovation of Robotic engineering into the rescue process. Even if this mechanism is useful in this crisis, it might become an experiment for future use. And if the robotics overtakes even the simplest sector work then we would have to witness the rise of poverty again. This is an existential crisis and if those who are working don’t want to lose their job then they need to transform themselves in the fittest to their job requirement so they are not cut out. But the truth is the future is more dreadful and 100 million are set to lose their job and turn unemployed in India within an upcoming couple of months.