Covid-19 continues unrelenting. Many lives have been lost to contagion while a huge number of people are getting infected every day. It has already stretched health care facilities and some say it is on the brink of breaking point. Also one key way in which this crisis is getting reflected is in the unemployment figures.
Recently, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy released figures for April 2021 and on expected lines, the unemployment has risen by 73.5 lakh in India. From January 2021 to April 2021, the rise in joblessness is to the extent of 99 lakh. The unemployment rate is around 8 per cent, thus highest in four months. The unemployment has spread across regular and casual workers as well as the self-employed.
The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) report is sometimes used as a substitute for evaluating the health of the labour market and it shows that the unemployment spike is not confined to just urban centres. The national unemployment rate and rural joblessness too have gone up sharply in the past recently.
While covid-19 cases are only rising, it has started to pinch given the fact that the pandemic already hit the global economy hard, increasing poverty in practically every country, reducing employment and pulling people down from middle-income groups into low-income groups and in some cases to the brink of poverty.
Washington-based Pew Research Center in its report recently and Oxfam’s report on inequality released earlier this year shine a light on economic travails as does this year’s Global Hunger Index rankings.
The World Bank says that the covid-19 pandemic caused an increase in extreme poverty last year, for the first time in 20 years. All these reports point out the ugly situation and more worse if the pandemic was allowed to a free run as is the case in contemporary times. Controlling the covid-19 pandemic is pivotal for revival of the various sectors including the tourism in Jammu and Kashmir. The present situation marked by a record number of cases every single day has been due to unchecked flow of people from outside as well as go by given by the people to covid-19 appropriate behavior.
The unemployment situation appears grim and new jobs are going to be very scarce even when the economy begins to recover. In such a scenario, there is urgent need for measures to heal the economy and support those whose livelihood has been severely affected. Daily-wagers are looking for some kind of relief from the government, especially when the Eid festival is just a few days away.