“State of Working India 2021” – One Year of Covid-19 Report

What is the News?

Azim Premji University’s Centre for Sustainable Employment has released the annual State of Working India 2021: One Year of Covid-19 Report.

Key Findings of State of Working India 2021 report:
  • Impact of Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially increased informality in employment. This has lead to a decline in earnings for the majority of workers and an increase in poverty in the country.
  • Lost of Jobs: Around 100 million jobs were lost nationwide during the April-May 2020 lockdown. Most of these workers had found employment by June 2020. However, about 15 million remained out of work.
  • Impact on GDP: Due to employment and income losses, the labour share of GDP fell down by over 5% points. For example, the labour share fell down from 32.5% in the second quarter of 2019-20 to 27% in the second quarter of 2020-21.
  • Informal Sector: Post Lockdown, nearly half of salaried workers moved into informal work. They became either self-employed (30%), casual wage (10%) or informal salaried(9%).
  • Most Impacted States: Job losses were higher for states with a higher Covid-19 caseload. Hence, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, contributed to a large extent to job losses.
  • Gender Wise: During lockdown and afterwards, 61% of working men remained employed and 7% lost employment and did not return to work. For women, only 19% remained employed and 47% suffered a permanent job loss.
  • Poverty Rate: 230 million people fell below the national minimum wage threshold of ₹375 per day during the pandemic. Furthermore, there was an increase in the poverty rate by 15% in rural and nearly 20% in urban areas.
About State of Working India 2021 Report:
  • Purpose: The aim of the report  was to document the impact of one year of Covid-19 on jobs, incomes, inequality, and poverty. The report also examines the effectiveness of policy measures undertaken by the government on relief and support programmes.
  • Based on: The report is based on data sourced from
    • Consumer Pyramids Household Survey of the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy(CMIE)
    • Azim Premji University Covid-19 Livelihoods Phone Survey (CLIPS),
    • The India Working Survey(IWS) and
    • Other surveys by various civil society organisations.

Recommendations: The report recommends several measures such as:

  • Extension of free rations under the public distribution system till the end of 2021. Currently, the government stipulated till June 2021.
  • Monthly cash transfers of Rs 5,000 for three months to vulnerable households.
  • The government should provide Work Entitlement under the rural job guarantee scheme MGNREGA. Further, the government should expand work from present100 days to 150 days per household per year.
  • A Pilot urban employment programme in the worst-hit districts.

Source: The Hindu

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