Job losses hit new high

Job losses hit new high

Overall employment rate declined by more than a lakh

The employment rate declined by 1.31 lakh during April-June 2009 over March in the same year. On a month-to-month basis, it dropped by 0.38 lakh in April and 1.57 lakh in May, while it went up by 0.64 lakh in June 2009.

The worst-hit sectors are export-oriented units, especially textiles, IT/BPO and gems and jewellery, where the overall employment declined by 1.52 lakh, 0.48 lakh and 0.23 lakh respectively during the period in question.

In the IT/BPO sector, there has been a steady decline in employment on a monthly basis —0.24 lakh (loss of jobs) in April rose to 0.33 lakh in May.

Quarterly report

The estimates were disclosed in the third quarterly report on the “effect of economic slowdown on employment in India for the quarter April to June 2009” brought out by the Labour Bureau after examining 3003 establishments covered in the previous quarterly survey.

“The government has been continuously watching the effect of the employment situation due to the economic slowdown in India,” the report said.

Significant fall in employment could be noticed in the textiles sector, where it was down by 1.54 lakh during April-June over March 2009.

In leather, automobiles and handloom/powerloom sectors, there was a slight increase in employment during the quarter April-June over March 2009.

The overall decline in employment in exporting units has been found to be 1.67 lakh compared with the increase in employment in non-exporting units by 0.35 lakh. In a disturbing trend of contract workers replacing the regular ones, the report revealed an increase in contract employment by 0.40 lakh compared with the decline of 1.71 lakh in respect of regular employment.

Migrant workers

Identifying the reasons for the decline in employment in the export sectors of textiles and gems and jewellery, the report said it happened as the migrant workers employed in such units returned to their villages during the season.

“The shortage of workers during the period is experienced every year as the migrant workers prefer to visit their places of origin, resulting in their absence during this period,” the report said.