As many as 75 lakh people lost their jobs after the various state governments imposed partial or complete lockdowns amid the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) said on Monday. The massive amount of job losses has led to the rise in the unemployment rate to eight per cent, which is a four-month high.
According to CMIE's managing director and chief executive, Mahesh Vyas, the current employment scenario in the country may continue for a while, reported The Financial Express.
"In April, compared to March, we have lost 75 lakh jobs. That is what has caused the jump in the unemployment rate," Vyas said.
According to the centre's proprietary data, the national unemployment rate touched 7.97 per cent, with urban areas witnessing higher stress at 9.78 per cent and rural joblessness standing at 7.13 per cent.
In March, the national unemployment rate had stood at 6.50 per cent, the number on both rural and urban front was lower.
The second wave has led to a lockdown-like situation in various parts of the country, with only essential activities being allowed. This has resulted in bringing a halt to major economic activities, and jobs have been affected.
"I do not know about the peaking of the COVID wave, but I can see the stress on the employment front," added Vyas.
Vyas commented that what is likely to happen is that unemployment can remain at a high level and that the labour force participation rate can also fall.
"In the worst situation, both can happen," Vyas added.
However, he pointed out that the situation right now is not as dire as the one witnessed in the first lockdown, when the unemployment rate had touched up to 24 per cent levels.
At present, India is reporting around four lakh new COVID-19 infections a day and over 3,000 fatalities.