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COVID Crisis: 15 Mn Indians Losing Jobs This May Is ‘Kaafi Real’

As per CMIE data, the urban joblessness rate hit 18 percent in the last week of May.

Published
NEON
2 min read
Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) estimates around 2.27 crore Indians to have lost their jobs in the months of April and May.
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As the graph depicting daily COVID cases in India dips, the after-effects of the second wave are visible in the battered economy, alarmingly reflecting in India’s unemployment rate.

According to an estimate by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), around 22.7 million Indians have lost their jobs in the month of April and May, over 15 million of those were lost during May alone, while the urban joblessness rate hit 18 percent in the last week of the month.

Meanwhile, the central government on Monday, 31 May announced the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the financial year 2020-21 to be at -7.3 percent as compared to 4.0 percent in 2019-20.

Following this, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at PM Narendra Modi, saying in a tweet, "PM's hall of shame – Minimum GDP, Maximum Unemployment," he tweeted along with a graph of rising unemployment among the youth.

Mahesh Vyas said that the job losses were “largely because the economy simply could not provide employment to large numbers who sought work.”
Mahesh Vyas said that the job losses were “largely because the economy simply could not provide employment to large numbers who sought work.”
(Photo: Aroop Mishra/The Quint)

Though the lockdowns and surge of infections have been held accountable for the job losses, India’s unemployment rate had risen, in the 2017-18 fiscal year, to its highest level in at least 45 years to 6.1 percent.

CMIE Director Mahesh Vyas suggested that as lockdowns ease, the problem will be ameliorated, but not entirely.

“The lockdowns could have denied people from seeking employment and caused a fall in labour participation. But, the economy also could not provide adequate jobs to those who sought jobs,” he said.

“So, the strain in the labour markets was not entirely because of the partial lockdowns. It was largely because the economy simply could not provide employment to large numbers who sought work,” he added.

The unemployment rate had shot up to an unprecedented high of 23.5 percent in May last year, due to the nationwide lockdown in the country.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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