On a Monday morning, Priya (21), an accountant at a Marketing firm in New Delhi, received a termination letter from her company due to the on-going circumstances in the job market. She is the sole bread-earner of her family as her father died of a cardiac arrest last year in September. Priya is now devastated as she and the other 3 members of her family have no source of earnings. This is not only the story of Priya but millions of other working-class who have lost their jobs in the past few days. The lockdown affected millions of people working in companies, small-scale businesses, or self-employed.
It all started with the announcement of nationwide lockdown on March 20, 2020, by Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. Everything in the country came to a halt following this announcement. All movements except for some necessary facilities got restricted to check the spread of the Covid-19 infection.
With its repeated extensions, the lockdown affected the Indian economy. Many medium and small businesses experienced a major blow. Millions of salaried employees lost their jobs as companies were no longer in the position to pay. A lot of self-employed people araised to suffer great losses in their income.
It is reported that more than 122 million have lost their jobs in April 2020 alone. The economic impact of this lockdown has left many without any work. Around 27 million youth currently in their 20’s have lost their jobs. Around 33 million work population in their 30’s also suffered job loss. A whopping 84% workforce experienced big slashes in their monthly income.
Thousands of workers employed in industries like BPO, IT, Media were being asked to go on unpaid leaves by their companies. Many work-from-home employees are not given salaries even for previous months. People are handed the notice to resign by their employers. The recruitment process by the companies has come to a standstill. It has worst affected the freshers as there is a 70% decline in demand for professionals having 0-3 years of work experience. Certain industries such as tourism, hotels, etc. are have been destroyed from employment prospects as there occurred around a 95% drop in hiring.
The small scale businessmen that include Grocery Vendors, Food Stalls, Dairy Owners, etc. among others are experiencing a major loss in their business. Most of the daily wage workers employed in Construction, Fisheries, etc. have lost almost everything. Today their condition is such that they have little money left for their survival. A lot of them are now dependent on the state and social help to meet even their basic requirements of Roti, Kapda, Makaan.
With the on-going restrictions on workplaces, it is estimated that this number is going to rise in the coming future. The situation is also feared to have long term implications on the economy. However, the relaxations in lockdown with Unlock 1.0 have given hope for the revival of certain businesses. But it is yet to be seen whether the job sector will be able to make a successful come back in the coming time or not.