19 mn people lost jobs due to COVID lockdown in India: CMIE

New Delhi: A total of 1.89 crore (18.9 million) people have lost their jobs in India since April, according to data released by Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).

“The plight of salaried employees has worsened since the lockdown began. In April, they lost 17.7 million jobs. But by July, the number reached 18.9 million,” the CMIE said.

“While salaried jobs are not lost easily, once lost they are also far more difficult to retrieve. Therefore, their ballooning numbers are a source of worry,” CMIE cautioned.

The report showed huge losses in manufacturing sector and within manufacturing, textile was the most severely hit. The employment losses in the sector resulted in a lower wage bill. In the textile sector, in particular, the wage bill fell by 29%. A similar trend was witnessed in leather, which recorded over 22% fall in its wage bill in June quarter.

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The increasing number of people losing their jobs may prompt the Centre to relax eligibility rules for availing unemployment benefits. Under the Atal Beema Vyakti Kalyan Yojana, the government gives 25% of the monthly salary as unemployment benefit for three months.

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