In the wake of the nationwide lockdown, announced on the eve of March 24, 2020, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, millions were shocked, and those most affected were migrant workers. Factory closures and economic stagnation left millions of migrant workers without jobs, income, or food. Many of these refugees walked for days to reach their homes, covering thousands of kilometres.
In the top nine sectors of the economy, nearly 23 lakh employees (16 lakh men and 7 lakh women) lost their jobs during the first three months of the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. According to data released by the Ministry of Labour and Employment in Parliament on February 10. The number of male employees in nine sectors was 2.17 crore before the lockdown (March 25, 2020), which had dropped to 2.01 crore on July 1. During the same period, women's employment decreased by almost 7 lakh, from 90 lakh to 83.3 lakh.
According to The New Indian Express report, the ministry reported that the data pertains to nine sectors: manufacturing, construction, health, education, trade, transportation, BPO, Hospitality, and financial services. The manufacturing sector employs most employees. Before the lockdown, 1.25 crore people were employed in this sector. Labour Bureau conducts a Quarterly Employment Survey (QAES) as part of the All India Quarterly Establishment Based Employment Survey (AQEES). According to the Ministry of Labor and. Employment, the Quarterly Employment Survey conducted during the first quarter (April-May, 2021), was designed to collect information about the impact of the pandemic on the operational and employment status of the establishments in nine sectors.
The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) reported a total of 53 million unemployed individuals in India in December 2021, with a large proportion being women. As per CMIE, 8 million women out of 35 million unemployed and actively looking for work in December 2021 were women. While 17 million women were passively unemployed, 53 per cent or 9 million of them were willing to work even though they had not actively sought employment.
In recent weeks, the Opposition has cornered the government on the issue of unemployment. Rahul Gandhi, the Congress leader, aimed at the government on Monday, citing a survey supporting his claim.
Aatmanirbhar Bharat Financial Package
As part of its Aatmanirbhar Bharat financial package, the government provides a fiscal stimulus of more than Rs 27 lakh crore to make the country self-sufficient and create jobs. Following the pandemic outbreak, the Centre informed the House that it provides a fiscal stimulus package of more than Rs 27 lakh crore as part of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, a package of long-term schemes and programs and policies aimed at making the country self-reliant and creating employment opportunities.