Urban Men Lost More Jobs Than Women in Second Wave of Covid-19: Report

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Urban men lost more jobs than women during the second wave of COVID-19, implying a complete loss of livelihood for millions of households, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). The most disproportionate loss of jobs because of the first wave of COVID-19 was among urban women, CMIE’s MD and CEO Mahesh Vyas said in his analysis.

He said urban women account for about three per cent of total employment, but they accounted for 39 per cent of total job losses in the first wave of the pandemic. Of the 6.3 million jobs lost, urban women accounted for a loss of 2.4 million, Vyas noted.

However, during the second wave, urban women suffered the least loss of jobs, he stated. The burden of job losses has shifted to men and during April-June 2021, a disproportionately higher loss of jobs was incurred among urban men.

Urban males account for about 28 per cent of the total employment in India. They accounted for a lower 26 per cent of the loss of jobs till March 2021. But, in the quarter ended June 2021 their share in total job losses was higher at 30 per cent, he pointed out. Usually, urban male jobs are the better quality jobs and their disproportionate loss could imply a greater fall in income than witnessed so far, he said.

It is also likely that women are often the second earning member of a household and the loss of jobs among women more often than not implies a fall in income but not a complete loss of income, Vyas opined. But, a loss of job among men often implies complete loss of livelihood. This greater loss of urban male jobs is worrisome, he added.

Vyas further stated that while many of the lost jobs will come back, the current loss is huge and its impact on the households that have suffered because of this cannot be captured in the cold statistics rolled out here or in the comfort that jobs will come back eventually. Many of those who got their jobs back or found alternate jobs got them at lower wage rates and household incomes have fallen a lot more than employment has, he added.

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