New Delhi: As the entire world is collectively reeling from the effects of coronavirus, millions of jobs have been lost and economies are in deep crisis. Similarly in India, soon after country went into lockdown on March 24, there’s been a spike in the unemployment rate in the last week of March and the first week of April. Also Read - Coronavirus Lockdown May Cost India's Economy $4.64 bn on Daily Basis: Report
Though India currently does not have official high-frequency employment data, estimates by Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s weekly tracker survey, show that unemployment shot up from 8.4% in mid-March to the current 23%. Also Read - Coronavirus: 'World Economy Staring at Recession; India, China Likely Exceptions,' Says UN
The reports states, “The fall since January 2020 is particularly steep – almost spectacular. It seems to have nosedived in March after having struggled to remain stable over the past two years. Then, there is a precipitous fall.”
Speaking on the job crisis, Pronab Sen, a former chief statistician of India said, ”Based on a rough calculation, about 50 million people might have lost jobs in just two weeks of the lockdown.”
While the overall unemployment rate spiked to 23.4 per cent, the urban unemployment rate soared to 30.9 per cent.
The ‘unemployment rate’ essentially represents the percentage of people who were looking for jobs who failed to find one.
“This is the highest unemployment rate in 43 months. Or, since September 2016. The rate has climbed rather steeply from the 7.16 per cent level of January 2020. Since some may have just been sent home for now, the actual scope of unemployment may be even higher and may show up a little later” wrote Mahesh Vyas, chief executive officer of CMIE on its website.
Not just India, rampant job losses have gripped many other economies too. On April 2, the US Department of Labor reported that an unprecedented 6.6 million workers in the US had been laid off and had filed claims for unemployment compensation payments with their state Unemployment Offices last week.