Over 6.6 million white collar professional jobs were lost from May till August 2020, the latest employment data by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) suggests. Those who were rendered jobless as the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the Indian economy comprised engineers, physicians, teachers, accountants, among others.
The maximum job losses in these professions took their employment to the lowest level since the year 2016. After the coronavirus-induced lockdown in India in March, over 121 million salaried jobs were lost in April. The recovery in most of the jobs was seen by August, but the condition of some professions deteriorated over time, the CMIE said.
According to CMIE's Consumer Pyramids Household Survey conducted from May through August 2020, white-collar professional employees and other employees saw the biggest loss of jobs among salaried employees. "This does not include similarly qualified persons who run their own practice as these are classified as "qualified self-employed professional entrepreneurs"," CMIE Managing Director and CEO Mahesh Vyas said in an article.
Employment in the category of white-collar professional employees has seen a steady rise since 2016 when the survey was first conducted. However, it declined to 18.1 million during January-April 2020, partially impacted by coronavirus lockdown. In the May-August period, the employment fell to 12.2 million. "This is the lowest employment of these professionals since 2016. All the gains made in their employment over the past four years were washed away during the lockdown," Vyas added.
However, desk work employees such as office clerks, BPO workers, among others didn't see lockdown have an impact on their jobs. This may have happened since these professionals shifted to work from home (WFH) mode, Vyas noted.
The next biggest impact of lockdown, after salaried workers, was seen among industrial workers. It was the biggest year-on-year loss among all salaried employees. In year-on-year comparison, the segment lost five million employees.