COVID Impact: 6 Million White-Collar Jobs Lost During May-August

COVID Impact: 6 Million White-Collar Jobs Lost During May-August

Nearly 6.6 million white-collar professionals have lost jobs between May and August, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).


The survey revealed that the white-collar professionals, which include engineers, physicians, teachers, accountants and analysts, have witnessed massive job loss among all salaried employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.


However, the CMIE clarified that the white-collar professionals do not include the similarly professionally qualified persons who run their own practice or self-employed professional entrepreneurs.


Chief Executive Mahesh Vyas stated in the official CMIE website, "Employment in the category of white-collar professional employees and other employees has been rising steadily since 2016 when the survey began tracking them. An estimated 12.5 million white-collar professional employees were employed during the wave of January-April 2016. A year ago, during the wave of May-August 2019, their employment peaked at 18.8 million. It remained almost stable at 18.7 million in the next wave of September-December 2019 and then fell to 18.1 million during the wave of January-April 2020. This wave contained a partial impact of the Covid-19 induced lockdown," 


"Employment of these professionally qualified white-collar workers fell steeply to 12.2 million during the wave of May-August 2020. 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,” he added.


As per CMIE, the lockdown did not impact white-collar clerical employees like desk-work employees ranging from secretaries and office clerks to BPO/KPO workers, and data-entry operators.


“Compared to a year ago, employment among the white-collar professional employees was down by 6.6 million. This was the biggest year-on-year (y-o-y) loss among all salaried employees. The next biggest loss was among industrial workers. By a similar y-o-y comparison, they lost 5 million employees. This translates into a 26 per cent fall in employment among industrial workers over a year," said Mahesh.


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