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Reversing trend, Urban males lost more jobs than females in second wave: CMIE

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Urban males incurred higher job losses than females during the second wave of the pandemic, a reversal in trend compared to the first wave, resulting in loss of livelihood for millions of families, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said.

Data from CMIE for the quarter ended June 2021 shows urban males accounted for 30 per cent of the total jobs lost in the second wave compared to 26 per cent during the first wave of the pandemic last year. Urban males account for 28 per cent of the total employment in India. Urban women, who account for about 3 per cent of total employment, accounted for 39 per cent of total job losses in the first wave while the job loss for them was least during the second wave.

According to CMIE, 13.3 million jobs were lost during the second wave of the pandemic in April and May 2021 resulting in employment at 386.4 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 compared to 399.7 million in the quarter ended March 31, 2021.

“Urban male jobs are the better quality jobs and their disproportionate loss could imply a greater fall in income than witnessed so far,” CMIE said in its weekly analysis. “This greater loss of urban male jobs is worrisome as it often implies complete loss of livelihood as against loss of jobs among women which more often than not implies a fall in income but not a complete loss of income,” it said.

As per CMIE, 13.3 million jobs were lost in the second wave compared to 6.3 million less employment after one year of Covid with the majority of lost jobs having recovered in the last one year since the first wave.

CMIE further said that experience shows that many of the jobs lost initially do come back eventually. Employment at the end of the quarter ended June 2020 was a whopping 78 million.

“But that massive shortfall has been largely made up, leaving a shortfall of only 6.3 million as of the quarter of March 2021. Similarly, the 13.3 million shortfall seen in the first quarter of the second wave will be narrowed in the coming quarters,” it said.

“While many of the lost jobs will come back, the current loss is huge. However, many of those who got their jobs back or found alternate jobs got these at lower wage rates. Household incomes have fallen a lot more than employment has,” it concluded.

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