“While the improvement in employment in June and in particular the increase in non-farm employment in the month is promising, the employment recovery challenge is steep because of a huge backlog,” CMIE said in its weekly analysis.
According to CMIE, the 7.8 million jobs recovered in June 2021 were essentially in urban India and most were of salaried employees with a total increase in salaried jobs during June 2021 at 6.2 million of which 4.5 million were from urban India.
Retail trade, textiles and construction were the three big sources of additional jobs in urban India with the total increase in employment in retail tarde a massive 11.2 million. Of this, 7.5 million were in rural India and 3.7 million in urban India. The construction industry added 2.2 million jobs and the textiles industry added 2.1 million jobs in June compared to May.
Further, employment in the manufacturing sector as a whole increased by 3.7 million in June compared to May while the services sector saw a sharp increase of 6.9 million.
However, employment fell in agriculture in spite of June being a busy month for kharif sowing. “Agriculture has accumulated excess labour since July 2020 and it has been slowly shedding some of this. The reduction in June could reflect this gradual reduction in agricultural labour as employment in other sectors improved,” CMIE said.
According to CMIE, like in the first wave of Covid-19 lockdowns, the biggest hit in employment in the second wave (April and May 2021) was among the small traders and daily wage labourers. They suffered a loss of 17.2 million jobs during April and May of 2021 while the salaried employees lost 3.2 million jobs and business persons lost another 5.7 million. Agriculture absorbed 3.4 million of these losses.
“Evidently, labour markets have not yet recovered from the Covid-19 induced economic shock. All parameters including employment, employment rate, unemployment rate and the labour participation rate are worse than they were in 2019-20 or even in the lockdowns-hit 2020-21,” it added.