Updated: March 18, 2021 2:25:30 pm
With a slow easing of lockdown measures, the unemployment rate in Delhi six months post-pandemic, rose to 28.5 per cent in October-November 2020 compared with 11.1 per cent in January-February, according to a Delhi government-commissioned survey accessed by The Indian Express.
The survey observed that 89 per cent of the unemployed respondents, of whom 56 per cent are jobless for over six months, continue to look for work, necessitating a “job guarantee scheme to revive the economy of the city”. As many as 30 per cent of the job seekers said they were unable to find work due to economic slump, 29.3 per cent cited “closure of business”.
Among those employed, seven per cent were earning less than Rs 5,000 a month in January-February. Their share rose to 13 per cent by October and the share of those earning between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 a month dropped from 30 per cent to 20 per cent.
The figures on the participation of women in the total workforce and the very high share of graduates and post-graduates among the unemployed are among the most worrying findings of the survey, which had a sample size of 44,226 of which 32,052 people were aged 15 and above.
In the case of women, the unemployment rate was 25.6 per cent even before corona, as against 8.7 per cent for males. After the pandemic struck, the female unemployment rate jumped to 54.7 per cent in October-November. It increased to 23.2 per cent in case of men.
More worryingly, the report noted, that 83 per cent women are out of the labour force, which is 31.6 per cent in case of men. Among the 83 per cent women unemployed and unavailable for work, 16.6 per cent are graduates, 27.6 per cent have cleared Class 12 and 23.8 per cent have studied till Class 10.
Gender-wise analysis found that 31.6 per cent male respondents were out of labour force, while the male labour force participation rate (LFPR) was 68.4 per cent, male work force participation rate (WPR) was 52.6 per cent and the male unemployment rate (UR) was 23.2 per cent during the survey in October – November 020.
“However, 83.1% female respondents were out of labour force, while the female labour force participation rate (LFPR) was 16.9%, female work force participation rate (WPR) was 7.6% and the female unemployment rate (UR) was 54.7% during survey in October – November 2020,” the survey found.
The survey has recommended a “follow up on this study to understand why more than 80% of women in Delhi are unavailable for work”. The survey report has been jointly prepared by the Delhi government and the Centre for Market Research and Social Development.
Age-wise break up shows that unemployment is highest in the 15-25 age bracket. In this category, unemployment rate increased from 25.5 per cent to 28.2 per cent during the lockdown and from 8.8 per cent to 27.4 per cent among those aged above 60.
The Delhi Directorate of Economics and Statistics and the Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission provided technical guidance on survey design, questionnaire development, validation and analysis of survey results, the report notes.
The Delhi government wanted to get a “full picture” of unemployment across sectors, the extent of under-employment, through the survey which laid special emphasis on “consequences of job loss in various economic activities/ industries after the outbreak of COVID-19 and consequent the lockdown.”
“The percentage of reduction in employment in various top sectors were: specialised construction activities (43%), Food and beverage service activities (31%), Education (30%), Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (25%), Services to buildings and landscape activities (25%), Information service activities (22%), Land transport and transport via pipelines (22%),” the report said.
It also refers to the jobs portal launched by the Delhi government to connect job-seekers and employers. It says of the total surveyed households, 27 per cent were aware of it, 3.6 per cent had already registered themselves on it.
“Delhi Government should take innovative steps like this to help the people of Delhi for joining employment and come out of the economic stress in initial months of 2021. However, Delhi Government needs to provide dedicated support for unemployed and underemployed individuals to register on the portal to tackle the rise in unemployment,” it adds.
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