Massive work and pay loss: Survey
Two-thirds (67 per cent) of workers have reported having lost employment during the pandemic-induced lockdown that began on March 25, according to the early findings of a survey conducted among 4,000 people.
The survey has been conducted in 12 states, including Bengal, by Azim Premji University in collaboration with 10 civil society organisations.
Urban India is more severely affected, according to the phone survey of 4,000 workers to gauge the impact of the lockdown on employment, livelihood and access to government relief schemes, the university said in a statement.
Eight in 10 workers in urban areas (80 per cent) and almost six in 10 workers in rural areas (57 per cent) lost employment, according to the university.
For non-agricultural self-employed workers who are still employed, average weekly earnings fell from Rs 2,240 to Rs 218 — a plunge of 90 per cent.
For casual workers who are still employed, average weekly earnings fell almost by half from Rs 940 in February to Rs 495 during the lockdown.
Over half of all salaried workers (51 per cent) saw either a reduction in their pay or received no salary.
Almost half (49 per cent) of households reported that they did not have enough money to buy even a week’s worth of essential items, the survey found.
Covid-19 and its associated safety measures, such as the lockdown, have taken a heavy toll on the economy, particularly on the vulnerable informal and migrant workers and their families, according to the study.
“Immediate as well as medium to long term, comprehensive policy measures are needed to counter these effects and chart the path to economic recovery,” the statement said.
“We hope that the survey findings will help in determining the extent and nature of policy interventions that are needed,” it added.
The survey was carried out in Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra (Pune), Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana.