Employment Sector Post-COVID Recovery Unequal for Men and Women: Study

Employment Sector Post-COVID Recovery Unequal for Men and Women: Study

New evidence suggests that the economic recovery in India may have left working women out, especially those with young children and in rural areas. The research conducted by Ashwini Deshpande, professor of Economics at Ashoka University, indicates that by August 2020, most of the workforce who had reported being employed before pandemic had returned to work.


However, women’s economic recovery was slower than that of men, particularly in rural areas.




She examined data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE)’s household surveys that collect weekly data from a rolling panel of roughly 11,000 households each week.


Deshpande used data from five waves i.e., from January 2019 to August 2020, which allowed up to five observations per person. These data provide a pre and post-pandemic panel of individuals, with five months in the post-pandemic period which allows for tracking changes in the status of the same individuals over time.


The results showed that following a sharp drop in employment in April 2020, employment recovered through May-August 2020 for both men and women. For men the recovery is nearly back to the pre-pandemic level, as is the case for urban women. There is no evidence of an increase in female work participation over the six months of the pandemic over and above the recovery to near pre-pandemic levels




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