The Unequal Effects of the Covid-19 Crisis on the Labour Market -Radhicka Kapoor
The unequal labour market in India would have seen a widening of disparities after Covid-19 struck. Those at the bottom, with few skills, limited education & without security, would have been affected the most; they are the ones in immediate need of support.
The widespread loss of jobs and incomes following the dual shocks of the pandemic and the lockdown have generated much concern. What is particularly worrying is that the impact of these shocks is not likely to have been uniform across the workforce.
Using data from the latest Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS 2018-19), which captures the conditions of the labour market prior to the Covid-19 crisis, I argue here that the effects of the shocks would be particularly harsh on specific groups of workers. These would be the less-educated workers who are typically engaged in low paying, precarious and unstable work arrangements in sectors that have been hardest hit by the shocks. Therefore, we can expect the crisis to accentuate the pre-existing inequalities in India’s dualistic labour market, which has been characterized by stark disparities between, at one end, a small percentage of the workforce that is engaged in jobs that offer stability of income and social security benefits, and, at the other end, a disproportionately large proportion engaged in informal employment.
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TheIndiaForum.in, 22 July, 2020, https://www.theindiaforum.in/article/unequal-effects-covid-19-crisis-labour-market