White Collar Employees Suffer The Worst: 6.6 Million Jobs Lost in India During May-August

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When the coronavirus spread all over the world rapidly, apart from record death tolls, the other significant damage it did was to the economy. This further resulted in the loss of employment on a massive scale, something which still seems to be continuing right now.

CMIE aka Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy has recently reported that the white-collar professional jobs such as engineers, physicians, teachers and so on took a huge hit between the time period May and August as 6.6 million jobs were lost.

These figures are quite alarming as CMIE also reported employment in white-collar professional jobs has hit the lowest level since the year 2016 and wiped out all the gains that were made from over the time period of last four years.


The weekly analysis conducted by the body using the data from their 20th wave of Consumer Pyramids Household Survey shows that the loss of jobs among all salaried employees was seen to be the most serve among white-collar professionals.

Under normal circumstances, individuals who are qualified in the field of engineering, physics, teaching, accounting and more wouldn’t face a hard time finding work in some private or government organisation. However, the pandemic is making them face the worst of the situation as of now.

Note here that this, however, doesn’t include qualified self-employed professional entrepreneurs as they have been reported to be doing better than the white-collar professionals.

In India, during May-August 2019, there was a peak of 18.8 million employed workers in the white-collar jobs’ space however now the figures have dropped to 12.2 million for the same time period in this year. 

CMIE believes the lockdown has washed away all the progress that was made in the field of employment in the country over the past 4 years.


Industrial Workers Witnessed Second Biggest Loss In Employment

The CMIE analysis also pinpointed how the next biggest loss in the employment of salaried individuals after white-collar professionals was among industrial workers. When a similar year-on-year comparison was done, it was found out that this category seems to have lost 5 million employees. This means there has been a whopping 26% fall in employment among industrial workers over a year in India.

That being said, the body reported that unemployment in industrial workers has largely been triggered by smaller industrial units which further goes on to reflect how the pandemic has put all medium, small and micro industrial organisations under stress.

Now, as for clerical employees in the white-collar jobs’ space, they didn’t get affected as badly as the professionals did. White-collar electrical employees include various desk-work employees such as secretaries, data-entry operators, office clerks, BP/KPO workers and so on. CMIE’s data shows that this particular category of workers has not seen any significant growth since the past 4 years. It has, in fact, declined quite sharply, from 15 million workers in 2018 to less than 12 million workers in 2020.

All in all, there has been some recovery in the overall employment scenario in India as the ‘new normal’ has slowly started to unfold. 

In an earlier estimation, CMIE had earlier reported that 121 million jobs were lost in April but most of it has been recovered by August. Nonetheless, the situation of salaried jobs is still on the path of continued deterioration. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.


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