Second wave rendered 1 crore Indians jobless; 97% households’ incomes declined in pandemic: CMIE

1st June,2021

Second wave rendered 1 crore Indians jobless; 97% households’ incomes declined in pandemic: CMIE

Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) chief executive Mahesh Vyas said on Monday that, Over 10 million Indians have lost their jobs because of the second wave of COVID-19, and around 97 per cent of households’ incomes have shrinken since the beginning of the pandemic last year.

The unemployment rate measured by the think-tank is expected to come at 12 per cent at the end of May as against 8 per cent in April, Vyas told , adding this signifies that about 10 million or 1 crore Indians have lost their jobs in this period of global pandemic.

Stating the main reason for the job losses is “mainly the second wave” of COVID-19 infections, Vyas said, “As the economy opens up, part of the problem will be solved but not completely.”

He explained that people who lose jobs find it very hard to get employment, specifying that while the informal sector jobs come back quickly, the formal sector and better quality job opportunities take up to a year to comeback again.

Unemployment rate had achieved a record high of 23.5 per cent in May 2020 because of the national lockdown. Many experts opinion showed that the second wave of infections has peaked and states will slowly start to ease the economic activity-impacting restrictions in a calibrated fashion.

Vyas further said an unemployment rate of 3-4 per cent should be considered as “normal” for the Indian economy, hinting that the unemployment number will have to decline for longer before the situation strengthens.

He said CMIE has completed a nation-wide survey of 1.75 lakh households in April which throws up worrying figures on income generation during the last one year — which has witnessed two waves of the pandemic.

Only 3 per cent of those voted in a poll said they have witnessed an augmentation in incomes, while 55 per cent said their incomes have declined, he said.

An additional 42 per cent of the people told tahat their incomes remained the same as that in the year-ago period.