India may lose up to 136 million jobs to the COVID-19 pandemic

According to CII, the tourism and hospitality sector alone may lose more than 20 million jobs if things don’t improve by October.

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According to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), over 50 per cent of the tourism and hospitality industry may be rendered sick with about 20 million losing their jobs, if the industry does not recover by October this year. It is reported that, the National Sample Survey (NSS) and Periodic Labour Force Surveys (PLFS) estimate that the coronavirus outbreak has put about 136 million non-agricultural jobs at risk.

Casual labourers, daily-wage earners, people employed by non-registered nano businesses, and others who work without any formal contracts are most likely to be rendered jobless. Even the self-employed are at risk.

The manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors will not be spared either. Service industries in the sector, such as construction, will see a big slump due to a dip in demand and supply restrictions. As a result, not only will existing jobs be hit, it will be far from easy to create new ones too.

As of now, it appears that only the daily wagers are badly hit, but it will not be surprising if short-term contractual workers end up losing their jobs across industries. Given the fact that the number of contractual workers in the country, with a tenure less than one year, crosses the five million mark, this sure is a scenario that is truly worrisome.

According to a study by staffing company, Adecco Group India, approx. nine million jobs will be lost across the textiles, food products, cement, capital goods, metals, electronics, rubber and plastics industries. Dipping sales had already impacted the jobs in the automotive space in the last quarter. Now, the aviation industry is also likely to lose up to 600,000 ground and support staff.

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