A staggering 6.6 million white-collar professional jobs including engineers, physicians, teachers, were lost between May and August thus bringing their employment to the lowest level since 2016, said the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).
The report said that the estimates during the coronavirus-induced lockdown wiped out the employment gains made over the last four years.
"From a peak of 18.8 million white-collar workers employed in the country during May-August 2019, their employment fell down to 12.2 million in the May-August 2020. This is the lowest employment of these professionals since 2016," CMIE said.
The organisation further stressed that the loss was observed among industrial workers as well. "By a similar year-on-year comparison, they lost five million employees. This translates into a 26 per cent fall in employment among industrial workers over a year," it said.
It further said that the decline in employment of industrial workers is likely to be largely in the smaller industrial units. "This reflects the distress in the medium, small and micro industrial units in recent times," highlighted the CMIE analysis.
However, the lockdown did not impact white-collar clerical employees. These include largely desk work employees ranging from secretaries and office clerks to BPO/KPO workers and data-entry operators.
"They possibly shifted to the work-from-home model," said CMIE.
The report said that this particular category of workers has not been seeing growth since 2016. In fact, it has slid quite sharply since 2018 from about 15 million to less than 12 million by 2020.