The pandemic has caused one of the worst economic crises in the country’s history. Primarily, the young population is facing a slew of challenges, including disruptions to education and training, job and income losses, and increased difficulty in finding work. Despite the fact that India did not experience a total lockdown this time, data show that nearly 15 million people lost their jobs in May 2021. As per the data from the Centre For Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), in the week ending May 30,the urban unemployment rate reached 18 percent, the highest in a year.
“Employment fell from 390.8 million in April 2021 to 375.5 million in May 2021. This translates into a loss of 15.3 million jobs, or a 3.9% fall in employment in the month,” Mahesh Vyas, MD and CEO of CMIE, wrote on its website. Adding to it he said, “May 2021 is also the fourth consecutive month of a fall in employment. The cumulative fall in employment since January 2021 is 25.3 million. Employment in January 2021 was 400.7 million. This has dropped to 375.5 million.”
He stated that the months of April and May 2021 saw a particularly severe drop in employment “They account for 22.7 million of the 25.3 million job losses in the past four months. This is the period of the severe second wave of Covid-19. During these two months, India witnessed lockdowns of varying degrees for different durations in different regions. It was a period of substantial disruption in economic activities which was bound to reflect in employment,” said Vyas.
According to the CMIE’s consumer pyramid household survey, the impact on daily wage workers was severe particularly in 2021,during these two months. The rural unemployment rate was 9.6 percent in the week ending May 30, down from 13.5 percent in the week ending May 23.