While we wait to get a clearer picture of the health coronavirus curve in India, we already have the first estimate of the job-destruction caused by the nation-wide lockdown. The numbers are staggering, worse than anything the world has ever known. More jobs were lost in India in the last two weeks than anything ever recorded in economic history. The number of “precariat” in India today may be almost as large as the population of Russia.
These are startling claims, even for the unprecedented times that we live in. So let me explain, step by step.
Let us first understand the data source, the unemployment tracker survey released by Centre for the Monitoring of Indian Economy (CMIE), the only data source of its kind that reports unemployment on a daily, monthly and quarterly basis. The CMIE interviews every day about 3,500 randomly selected persons in its consumer survey. Post-lockdown, like everything else, the survey too came to a halt. They managed to do only 2,289 interviews in the last week of March. But the data was not released as the sample was too small and the week was rather unusual. Repeat field survey was not possible, but the CMIE field staff managed to do 9,429 telephonic interviews to collect the data for the week ending on 5 April. The sample was smaller than usual but large enough and fairly representative in terms of rural/urban, class and so on. These results were not different from the figures they got from the still smaller sample in the previous week. So, after due verification, this Monday, the CMIE released its first set of data and analysis.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ India lost more jobs due to coronavirus lockdown than US did during Depression