While youngsters are believed to be relatively safer from illness by coronavirus, the possibility of their losing a job due to the consequent lockdown and economic crisis is much higher. The lockdown is particularly harmful to youngsters, said a report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). Youngsters who are ready to start working may escape the disease, but they are suffering an equally crippling experience in their careers and their future, the report said. During April-July 2020, jobs employing workers in the age group of 20-39 have contracted by around 9 per cent. In contrast, jobs for those in the age group of 40-49 have increased by 4.3 per cent in the same duration.
While the coronavirus pandemic hit India’s economy in the month of March, the country was already struggling with a prolonged slowdown for almost three years. Adding to the woes, the adverse impact of the slowdown had been disproportionately high on youngsters. CMIE’s Consumer Pyramids Household Survey showed that the share of people in their late 20s and in their 30s is also declining in the total employed labour force. This fall was particularly sharp in 2019-20 as their collective share fell from a little over 36 per cent in 2017-18 and 2018-19 to 34 per cent in 2019-20.
3 reasons why lockdown hit young workforce harder
Between April and July 2020, job losses in the workforce of age less than 40 years were much higher at 19.6 million, which was partly offset by job gains of 8.9 million among those aged 40 years or more. CMIE has highlighted three reasons why the lockdown has severely hit the youngsters. A slowing economy generates lower demand for labour; the younger workforce in an enterprise is less experienced and therefore is more easily dispensable; and during the lockdown, enterprises cannot hire and train new recruits easily.
Meanwhile, a recent report by ILO-ADB had underlined that 41 lakh youth in India may lose jobs due to the ongoing disruptions in business activities. In six months, job losses for youth may equal 61 lakh in India and the highest impact is expected to be seen in the construction and farm sectors, it further said.