Unemployment rates at 9.31%; jump to five-week high; outlook for the job market, opportunities, and emerging trends.

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  • Unemployment Rate at 9.31%
  • 12.2 crore people may have lost employment due to the COVID -19 Pandemics,
  • 6 crore Indians out of 60 crore risk at losing jobs by coming quarter

In August, India recorded unemployment rate at a five-week high at 9.31%, according to fresh data from the Centre of Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE)

While the impact on unemployment both in the Urban and the Rural sectors was felt severely during the lockdown period owing to the COVID -19 pandemics, the unemployment rates saw a sharp increase even after the unlocking of economic activities, return of the migrants for jobs, as well as the re-opening of many sectors.

It is to be noted that even though the severity and the impact of COVID – 19 pandemics in many countries around the globe were on a much larger scale as compared to India, in the beginning, and as it progresses, the unemployment crisis and the pinch of an increased unemployment rate is higher in India than these countries.

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As expected the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises ( MSMEs) and the unorganized sectors, the employment ratio fell maximum, and the employment in these sectors was severely affected with maximum fatality in terms of job losses. 

An estimated 12.2 crore people may have lost employment due to the COVID -19 Pandemics, according to reports.

Of this number, it is estimated that 75% are small traders and wage – laborers.

Work from home became an option and a requirement for many people but sadly this option doesn’t translate to a labor-intensive workforce.

The sectors that faced and continue to face challenges are 

  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Travel
  • Door to Door sales
  • Food & Hospitality
  • Recreation and Fitness
  • Real estate 
  • Wellness and Beauty
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Many employed in these sectors have either been laid off or face massive pay cuts due to uncertainty in continued businesses, losses & debts incurred due to lockdown and uncertainty in terms of future sustainability.

According to data – it is estimated that 6 crore Indians out of 60 crore who are employed in offices etc. are at the risk of losing their jobs by the next quarter due to sustainability challenges.

This could cause the unemployment ratio in the Urban and Semi-Urban areas to shoot up and therefore impact the overall percentage.

The Software and IT Sectors have however seen an increase in demand for niche job skills. 

The focus is now to employ people in roles that require specialized certifications and niche job skills.

However, while this demand caters to a few employment opportunities the rest may find themselves being moved towards uncertain times.

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Upward trends are also emerging for Web Developers, Cloud Computing Specialists, Cybersecurity Specialists, Data Scientists, AI Specialists – all catering to niche skill sets. 

With an increase in online content, marketing & advertising – Digital Marketing Professionals, Content Managers, Social Media Marketers, Ads Specialists are seeing an increase in demand too.

However, many of these opportunities are largely available at entry-level rather than at the senior level.

It remains to be seen if the unemployment percentage remains stable in the coming weeks and months, as more and more sectors open up and resume operations, however, owing to sustainability issues and lack of demand, the employment opportunities could continue to dwindle unless economic measures and economic boosters are set in place.

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