TODAY -

Covid-19 pandemic accentuates the job crisis as Indian economy begins to reopen

Lakshmana Venkat Kuchi *



We are facing a severe crisis of jobs.

But before I get into the issue of job losses in India, pre and post Covid scenario, it must be mentioned that India has been witnessing jobless growth (or less jobs even when economy is growing) for the past many years. And India has been unable to generate jobs at a pace that India needed to absorb the youth entering the workforce.

But it will be wrong lay the blame on the Modi government for the loss of jobs and livelihoods, which began to get worsen after the nearly two month long national lockdown. It is obvious that a complete halt to economic activity has adversely affected the job scenario, with even the organised sector declaring downsizing citing the pandemic. The unorganised sector has been hit worse during the lockdown and it is only slowly limping back.

So, an estimate of the extent of jobs and livelihood losses would be difficult to make at this stage even as the central government is trying its best to kick start the cold economy so that it revives. But, yes, it will take time.

Jobs were being lost even before Covid as the economy was facing a slowdown in growth and the organised sector in different spheres was ‘right-sizing’ their workforce. But the job losses gained significant momentum post Covid, leading to strong criticism of the central government and its handling of the economy.

Here it must be mentioned that Covid has only accentuated job losses, for which the government cannot be held accountable. What can be debated is whether the efforts of the government in reviving the economy are sufficient and whether it needs to do much more.

If we come to the job losses, the result of a combination of factors, India has been the theatre for jobless growth, that is economic growth with no matching growth in jobs, for the past several years, long before the Modi government came to power in the year 2014.

If the rate of growth in jobs in relation to the growth in GDP is taken into consideration, the growth in jobs continued to fall despite the country being the fastest growing large economy in the world. According to a study, a declining trend was noticed in the employment growth in relation to GDP growth over the years from 0.44 percent in the five years (1999-2000) to 0.1 percent in the five years (2009-2010), and this trend continued as the economy continued to post higher economic growth, of even double digits.

This job less growth had worried and continue to worry economists, as the army of the unemployed continues to rise. Last year, India recorded the highest unemployment levels in nearly four decades, giving a handle to the opposition to attack the government with.

The reasons for the jobless growth, are also technological advancement, which enable large companies to be run with fewer workers. Huge investments are coming in, but they are not creating jobs to the extent that the unemployed could be absorbed. Another related problem is that the educated unemployed are not employable for a host of jobs as they lack the necessary skills that the new technologies need.

Which explain initiatives such as skill India initiative, that aims to prepare the country’s youthful workforce skilled enough for employment and or livelihood, via self-employment activities. Even though the Modi government cannot be blamed entirely for the unemployment crisis gripping the nation, it surely becomes its responsibility to try and create more jobs fix it as its main goal.

Labour intensive activities must get priority as also encouragement to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, which is the second biggest employer after agriculture in the private sector. Years of jobless growth has now begun to bite the country at a time when the pandemic is adding to the job losses. Millions have lost jobs in the formal sector since the lockdown began. Clearly, the job market has now collapsed, with thousands losing salaried jobs, in the formal and informal sector.

In a report, the Mumbai-based think tank, Centre for Monitoring India Economy (CMIE), noted that “salaried jobs do not seem to grow in tandem with economic growth, or even with an increase in entrepreneurship. But they are suffering the most during the current economic meltdown.” CMIE MD and CEO, Mahesh Vyas, is of the opinion that despite India’s rapid growth till 2019, salaried jobs grew at a snail’s pace.

While entrepreneurship did rise in India, it did not create salaried job, indicating that it was all self-employment, and in fact, it is farming that is employing more people in India today than any sector.

“There are many more farmers than salaried jobs. Farmers and daily wage labourers together comprise two thirds of Indian working population,” the CMIE chief notes, indicating the extent to which agriculture was engaging the labour force.

Especially during the pandemic, following the lockdown and through the different stages of unlocking, it is agriculture that has shown growth of three percent even as all the other sectors registered negative growth taking India’s GDP growth to its lowest – minus 23.9 percent for the first quarter of current financial year ending March 2021.

At a time when the country needs to add at least 10 lakh jobs every year to absorb the new workforce rolling out of colleges and institutions, the country is witnessing job losses, adding that much more pressure on the shrinking jobs market.

Clearly, the government has its task cut out.

MSMEs that can generate employment ought to be given more priority and help to enable them survive. Help should be given to them in the form of grants or assistance so that they can generate jobs, which is of utmost importance and urgency. This assistance can be granted based on their efficiency and past record of accomplishment, in terms of filings of taxes for the previous years.

This is important to have some way to weed out the inefficient MSMEs, as they are likely to die even if assistance is given. But clearly employment generating MSMEs must get the immediate attention of the government, so focus should be on labour intensive units.

In the organised manufacturing sector that is witnessing rapid automation, it is necessary to help it find skilled workers. In this connection, the skill India programme must be monitored for implementation and quality controls, in steady conversation with the industry.


* Lakshmana Venkat Kuchi wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is a senior journalist tracking social, economic, and political changes across the country.
He was associated with the Press Trust of India, The Hindu, Sunday Observer and Hindustan Times.
He can be reached on kvlakshman(AT)gmail(DOT)com and Twitter handle @kvlakshman
This article was webcasted on September 16 2020.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Manipur Art Fest 2019 #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Mushroom cultivation @Singjamei : Gallery
  • Ownership of mineral rights : A case study
  • My idea of justice
  • NPF Legislature meets with NEDA Convener
  • How to use glycerine on the face
  • Mantra of trace, test and treat
  • Criminalization of politics
  • Irrelevance of 66 MW Loktak Downstream HEP
  • Thangol adu maya thangu thouna hey lao-uba
  • Inauguration of Destination NE 2020 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Programme on Irabot's Death Anniversary
  • RIST Popular Talk -45 : Quantum chaos
  • Salad days :: Poem
  • NPP : Adopt the wait & watch strategy
  • Last Day : Sangai Festival 2019 #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Irabot, one & only leader of oppressed mass
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Mavopam, Daikho, Rangnamei: eMing
  • World Tourism Day 2020
  • Belated Happy Birthday
  • In Unison with Divinity :: Poem
  • COVID Care Centre @UNACCO #2: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Hijam Irawat : Irawat the Legend #3
  • We do not stop playing because we grow old
  • Naga Talent Scouting Contest
  • 'Nagaland financial published is deceptive'
  • Politics of drop and induct Ministers
  • Playing a risky game
  • Swearing in @ Rajbhavan [24 Sep] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya - Parliament to pass Climate Law
  • Hijam Irawat : Irawat the Legend #2
  • Petition to PM by farmers of Ningombam
  • Low ease of doing business in Manipur
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • My idea of justice
  • Offensive against party hopping
  • Politics is more than a game of numbers
  • RK Bikramjit (Flutist & Composer) : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #4: Gallery
  • Hijam Irawat : Irawat the Legend #1
  • Nurturing young minds amidst lockdown
  • Training on mushroom cultivation
  • A hot test in a Darjeeling lodge
  • Number games before reshuffle
  • Preserving biodiversity amidst uncertainty
  • Barak: Our economic & ecological security
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Loan Distribution- Street Vendors : Gallery
  • Imposing fresh curbs, need of the hour
  • Youthful Years :: Poem
  • International Day of Peace 2020
  • 3rd Poshan Maah: Drive against malnutrition
  • New advisory for COVID-19 positive patients
  • Peace: an elusive concept
  • Foundation Day- Journalist Union #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Irabot Day & practice of volunteerism
  • Morung Dialogue: To Freedom: A Human Story
  • Mushroom Growth of Social media Influencer
  • Observance of Kuki Black Day Sahnit Ni 2020
  • Nagaland Lokayukta investigation into Dy CM
  • Spirit of Art 164-1 (A)
  • Significance of September 19
  • Nongin, the State bird of Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Financial Assistance for Journalist Phase-1
  • National Education Policy - Review #5
  • Condemn Moreh Police on Child Rapist case
  • Music video chronicling true naga spirit
  • What is trademark ?
  • Below par recovery rate
  • World Bamboo Day 2020 : A Report
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Pukning Pothasang #LetsTalkAboutDementia
  • 7th Khangminashi Lecture: Nanotechnology
  • Cancellation- Hyderabad Univ entrance exam
  • Condemnation on rape of 3-1/2 year girl
  • Calling social entrepreneurs from NE for UNDP
  • The Bright Lights :: Poem
  • Ensure health care service during COVID
  • Shirui Village, Shirui Hill, Ukhrul : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Life moves on
  • JRF (on Chakhao) @ICAR, NEH Meghalaya
  • Fruit face packs
  • BA/BSc Exam at Lilong Haoreibi College
  • Fingering of Ladakh
  • Shadow of Greater Lim or Nagalim
  • Calls for change in election campaign
  • Tongjei Maril 1942: Bridle Path to Motor Road
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Khutheibam Abdur Rahman- Poet & Activist
  • Manipur StartUp Conclave 2020 : Gallery
  • Karmayogi Mission for reforms in civil services
  • Training on mushroom cultivation
  • Foundation Day- Journalist Union #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • The thirst for reopening schools
  • Vale of Tears: Untold stories of violence : Rvw
  • Career option in Ethical Hacking
  • Monkey justice
  • Tribal Ministry for seamless implementation
  • Disturbing daily spike & total figure
  • Rani Phi design on 'Doctor in 2020' :: Gallery
  • Aquapreneurship & present Fishery status
  • Discussion: Crime Against Women in Manipur
  • World Ozone Day 2020
  • National Education Policy - Review #4
  • Sole meaning of life is to serve humanity
  • Covid-19 accentuates the job crisis
  • BJP versus Cong versus NPP
  • Brahmacharimayum Roji: Actress #2 : eRang
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Cultivating the common ground : FNR
  • Reimagining Immunity & Immune System
  • Happy Engineers' Day
  • My Teacher - I Salute Thee ! :: Poem
  • Today a reader, tomorrow a leader !
  • Discussion : Myanmar's 2020 Election
  • Daily spike of 90 thousand plus
  • Buning Meadow / Piulong Valley #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Discovery of a novel biopolymer
  • Mrs. Laldinpuii : Success Stories from NE
  • Remembering our heroic martyrs
  • Alternative to online teaching during COVID
  • Teenage skin care
  • Tree Planatation at Chandel
  • Final pact sans NSCN (IM)? Uneasy peace
  • The cry for Justice! Kuki Black Day
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Flood-like situation @Thangmeiband :: Gallery
  • Khumang : e-Conference on 'Science & Tech'
  • National Education Policy - Review #3
  • Demand for a DNA Testing Machine Lab
  • Lilong Haoreibi College resumed functioning
  • A song of appreciation :: Poem
  • COVID-19 & after: Need for change in plans
  • On the Flag that was hoisted at Kangla
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Ambulance to Chief Medical Officer : Gallery
  • Highway projects in Manipur & agriculture
  • Keeping an eye on 'Eye health'
  • Academic Year Online for Assam DB Univ
  • Need to go in for more after RAT
  • By-election; play a fair game
  • Ras Leela @JNMDA, Imphal :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Southeast Asia: Strategic for Competition
  • Memory of Pranab Babu
  • Gandhi, self-help, khadi & Atmanirbhar Bharat
  • The reality we live today :: Poem
  • NEET & JEE: Balance betn student & health
  • 21 years of reaching out to the readers
  • Non Positive
  • Agri Fair at CAU Iroisemba #3 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Suicide: Chasing death
  • Women rights-based access to contraceptives
  • Delimitation & limitation of valley minorities
  • Understanding CET
  • Himalaya Diwas at IBSD, Takyelpat
  • Noting post Covid complications
  • Rechecking hospital's modus operandi
  • Azad Hind: Its Forgotten Govt & the Army
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • MPSC 2016: Social media mob injustice
  • Manipur women weave success in pandemic
  • FEGOCTA to resume academic activities
  • Live one day at a time :: Poem
  • Should animal be given same right as human
  • Countdown to by polls
  • Tungjoi Glory Day (Senapati) #3 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Skill Development Prog by CM: Gallery
  • National Education Policy - Review #2
  • Hope : The reason we keep living !
  • International Literacy Day 2020
  • Beauty benefits of rice water
  • Targeting young girls : Minds of retards
  • Should trading Frog amount to smuggling
  • Rendezvous with RK Bikramjit (Flutist)
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Reminiscence of coming & journey : Book Rvw
  • And I sleep for the hunger of you : Poem
  • MPSC propose re-examination is not justified
  • Increasing local transmission
  • COVID Care Centre @UNACCO #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Naga story in Indigenous People movement #2
  • Revoke Agreement on 66 MW Loktak Project
  • My homage to Pranab Mukherjee
  • Eventide :: Poem
  • Protest against gangrape of a minor
  • Condemnation against the gang rape
  • Heat of the Internet
  • Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Loans to vendors [Aug 25] : Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang : A social reformer #3
  • National Education Policy - Review #1
  • Menstruation needs to be discussed openly
  • Serious internet jokes & reflections
  • Climbing number of cases, deaths
  • Akhunba Takhellei #2 : Film scene :: eRang
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Naga story in Indigenous People movement #1
  • Tribal Resource Conservation Ethics
  • Vilification of MCSCCE selected candidates
  • Grand Chef Manipur at Luwangshangbam
  • Monument of friendship :: Poem
  • How will the Naga CSOs respond ?
  • Irritating season
  • Yaoshang Halankar #3 : Gallery
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to dead by living
  • Legal awareness on 'Right to Food' at Lamlai
  • First E/online Lok Adalat held
  • Teacher for JEE Main & tutorials
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2 : Gallery
  • September Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Landscape to Dzukou Valley #5 : Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang : A social reformer #1
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1 : Gallery
  • Moirangthem Mani : Kalabhusan (Thang-Ta)
  • 13 August @BT Park #2 : Gallery
  • Patriots' Day @ Kangla #2 : Gallery
  • 16th Death anniv of Chittaranjan : Gallery
  • Manipur Independence Day [14 Aug]: Gallery
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • Hentak :: An indigenous Manipuri food
  • HSE Toppers - Commerce stream : Gallery
  • HSE Toppers - Science stream : Gallery
  • HSE Toppers - Arts stream : Gallery
  • SPONSORED ADS