Mounting Job Losses amid Pandemic Crisis
Its not business as usual. The outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown has led to an unprecedented situation,impacting individuals, families and society at large. Apart from the loss of valuable human life and widespread health concerns,the global pandemic has created a shake-up in all spheres of life.It has negatively impacted all sectors of the global economy.
The world of work certainly won’t be the same again. The International Labor Organization (ILO) has estimated that globally more than 25 million jobs would be threatened due to the spread of corona virus. Back home in India, the situation is equally alarming. With industries (both large and SMEs), commercial establishments, corporate offices and private enterprises almost shut down, the number of people getting the pink slip has spiraled since the lockdown was imposed. The downslide in the job market began since end of March, when most companies have either started laying-off people, asking employees to go on indefinite leave without pay or curtailing their salaries ruthlessly.
Global investment management firm Goldman Sachs and the World Bank have predicted the world economy could witness a negative growth of up to 3 per cent, and India to grow at a mere 1.5-1.6 per cent. However, since India has a huge domestic demand, growth may “remain static”, which will hover around 4% to 5%. Nevertheless, the scenario is gloomy: As per the figures cited in the report released by the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), India’s urban unemployment rate soars to 30.9%, even as the overall rate rises to 23.4%. A survey has found a vast majority of the citizens - 86 per cent of those polled to be precise - are worried about losing their jobs and livelihoods due to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
Real Estate, Engineering & Capital Goods, Tourism and Hospitality sectors are the worst hit segments. Agriculture and agro-based industries too are severely affected areas. With lesser spending power, people will tend to buy and consume less, which will eventually impact on all aspects of our day-to-day living.
However, as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. Amidst the uncertainty and turbulence prevailing in the marketplace, there is a glimmer of hope as over 2,00,000 jobs have been advertised by a range of employers in the past four weeks and over 25% of these were posted last week, according to job postings data tracked and curated from companies’ official job pages on LinkedIn and direct postings on top job boards.
Some of the top employers are Amazon, Google, Tech Mahindra, Walmart Labs, VMWare, IBM, Capgemini, Deloitte, JPMorgan Chase, Flipkart, Byju’s, Grofers and BigBasket, among other companies. While 60% of the openings are entry-level positions,the remaining 40% are for junior and mid-level positions. Most of the opportunities are for software engineers and full-stack developers.
Actually, it’s an intersecting scenario, with job losses on the one hand and employment generation on the other. However, the quantum of fresh jobs being created is less in comparison to the jobs lost. It will indeed take some time to rev up the economy and put shine and sparkle back into the job market.