Half of Working Indians Surveyed Worry About Losing Their Jobs Within the Year
The number reflects a global worry: More than half of the global population of working-age adults are similarly worried, the survey of 12,000 employed adults from 27 countries, including India, found.
“The result [of the pandemic] is a disrupted labor market and uncertain prospects for 2021,” the report notes.
But employment concerns vary greatly between countries — while people from Sweden and Germany are the least concerned about job losses, Russians, Spaniards and Malaysians are particularly concerned.
Given that more than 27 million youth in India lost their jobs in the month of April alone, following the nationwide lockdown, such concerns are hardly unfounded. And, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), working hours equivalent to 500 million full-time jobs have already been lost worldwide due to the pandemic.
The effects of these losses are seeping into public sentiments, especially amid the pandemic-spawned economic crisis, which already has Indians more worried than the Covid19 infection itself, according to a pan-India study by IIM Lucknow.
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The report by the WEF states that pandemic job loss may be lasting, as the need for social distancing, lockdowns and other containment measures have “accelerated trends towards automation and the use of artificial intelligence.”
Governments across the globe have begun considering the implications of “maintaining, withdrawing or partly continuing the strong crisis support they are providing to businesses to cover wages and maintain jobs,” the report notes, but the damage may not be easy to curb.
Due to the losses, “[youth] will be permanently scarred, maybe even for decades to come,” Guy Ryder, the ILO’s director-general, had said, commenting on job losses earlier during the pandemic.
Women, too, will be hard hit long term. As predicted by economists earlier during the pandemic, job losses due to the pandemic have disproportionately hit women. And this gendered effect will likely be lasting: “The bigger their losses in employment during the lockdown phase and the greater the scarcity of jobs in the aftermath of the Covid19 crisis, the harder it will be for women’s employment to recover,” the ILO stated in its June report. Moreover, due to the reinforcement of gender stereotypes on childcare and housework burden during the pandemic, women’s return to the workforce could be further hampered.