Home Global News Escalating Urban Unemployment in the times of Corona

Escalating Urban Unemployment in the times of Corona

Urban Unemployment

Urban Unemployment

The world has now faced the global health crises for over a half a year. The loss that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused to the world is wide ranging and the most far reaching in all aspects. Be it mental anxiety, the inhibited or limited social contact or the economic crumbling that the world is witnessing due to slumped demand and consequential job-loss, Coronavirus is ,making the world paying a heavy price.

The world witnessed the plight of the migrant laborers and daily wage earners as they undertook daunting road journeys, on foot, back to their villages in the excruciating Indian summers. For the first time the salaried middle class felt the tremors of the economic aftershock in the wake of lockdowns and shutting of public institutions and recreational space in the form of pay-cuts, incentive blocks and lay-offs. The urban employment scenario changed from promising to the one of the bleakest in any period of recession till date. The unemployment rates in India during the months April and May were at their peak of 23.5% due to the national lockdown. However recently the unemployment level in India slipped to its pre-lockdown figure of 8.5%, earlier this June. In March the joblessness rate was 8.75%, which rose sharply in May and then started falling for the initial three weeks in June.  But the condition of urban unemployment doesn’t seem to be improving as it is still recorded as higher than the pre-Covid levels.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), unemployment in the urban areas has risen ti 11.6% in July. This hike has been reported after fresh restrictions and curfews imposed on public activities by the governments of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Assam, West Bengal and Maharashtra, throughout the bygone week. The cities are still struggling with complete operations of the public places, industries and other service sector related enterprises,

which is adversely affecting the job market. Though the rural unemployment during the lockdown had spiked, but with the gradual easing of the lockdown the stress of unemployment has considerably been reduced in the rural areas due to the assimilation of labour in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) activities and increased kharif crop farming.

The CMIE also reported that the weekly  labour participation rate also fell in addition to the  simultaneously escalating unemployment rate, thus implying that the weekly employment rate had also fallen. It is speculated that since the employment ratio in the first week of July stood higher than that in June, job opportunities could rise in July, but for urban unemployment to reduce, corresponding employment rate also has to rise in addition to the job creation.