White-collar employment for May-August 2020 was at 12.2 million, the worst since 2016, CMIE data shows. Industrial workers were the next hardest hit, losing 5 million jobs year on year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out all employment gains made in the white-collar space since 2016 in a span of four months, Mahesh Vyas, Managing Director and CEO, Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) said in a blog post.
White-collar employment for May-August 2020 was at 12.2 million, the lowest it has been since 2016, CMIE data shows. Year on year (YoY), job losses were at 6.6 million for white-collar workers while industrial workers were the next hardest hit, losing 5 million jobs.
“This (May-August 2020) is the lowest employment of these professionals since 2016. All the gains made in their employment over the past four years were washed away during the lockdown,” Vyas said.
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Among the white-collar professionals, clerical employees were not hit but desk-workers such as secretaries, office clerks, BPO/KPO workers and data-entry operators saw opportunities diminish.
“Compared to a year ago, employment among the white-collar professional employees was down by 6.6 million. This was the biggest year-on-year (YoY) loss among all salaried employees,” Vyas noted.
Employment in the space was steady since 2016, with an estimated 12.5 million jobs between January-April 2016. During the job-wave of May-August 2019, employment in the space peaked to 18.8 million and remained almost the same at 18.7 million in September-December 2019, it added.
At 18.1 million jobs in January-April 2020, there was a small fall due to partial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was followed by a sharp decline to 12.2 million in May-August 2020.
The next worst hit were industrial workers, who in a similar YoY comparison, lost 5 million employees, a 26 percent fall. Data also indicated that jobs loss in large industrial companies contributed only a fraction to the overall loss in industrial workers’ employment, the blogpost said.
“Therefore, the decline in employment of industrial workers is likely to be largely in the smaller industrial units… which reflects the distress in the medium, small and micro industrial units,” it added.Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here