India Lost 5 Million Salaried Jobs in July But TV Anchors Focused on Sushant Singh Rajput

Social Commentary

India Lost 5 Million Salaried Jobs in July But TV Anchors Focused on Sushant Singh Rajput

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has led to large-scale suffering across the world. Apart from posing a threat to the most medically vulnerable sections, Covid-19 has also left large numbers of people with no hope for employment.

Now, according to a recent report from the Centre of Monitoring Indian Economy, as many as five million salaried employees are said to have lost out on jobs in July alone, a staggering figure that’s become a cause for concern.

The figure reflects a trend that started rising with the lockdown back in April. In that month, an estimated 17.7 million salaried jobs were lost to the pandemic. This figure didn’t change much in May, with another 0.1 million jobs lost.

While there was some recovery in June, with 3.9 million jobs gained, the loss of another 5 million salaried jobs in July has now worsened the situation. The implications that this has on an individual’s mental health, savings and expenses, had journalist Faye D’souza calling this report the biggest headline of the day.

“On a net basis, the plight of salaried employees has worsened since the lockdown began. In April, they lost 17.7 million jobs. But by July, their losses had swelled to 18.9 million,” the CMIE study said. “While salaried jobs are not lost easily, once lost they are also far more difficult to retrieve,” it added.

However, only 21% of all employment in India is in the form of a salaried employment, which is more resilient to economic shocks, the study said. The worst affected continue to be small traders, hawkers and daily wage labourers.

“Of the 121.5 million jobs lost in April, 91.2 million were among these. This category of employment accounted for about 32 per cent of the total employment but, it suffered 75 per cent of the hit in April,” the study says, referring to informal jobs.

While the figure for informal jobs has since improved, the study adds that the recovery has “left out healthier salaried jobs”.

With the coronavirus pandemic showing no signs of slowing down, nearly six months after it was first discovered in the country, one can only hope the situation improves soon.