Thursday, July 2, 2009

Six lakh jobs losses in India in four months

More than 6,00,000 Indians, many employed in the gems and jewellery sector, lost jobs in just four months from October 2008 as the impact of the global economic crisis hit the country's shores.

About 5,00,000 people lost their jobs in the October- December 2008 period, while over 1,00,000 were shed in January this year, the Economic Survey said.

In September, the crisis turned severe following the bankruptcy of American financial services major Lehman Brothers. Since then, millions of jobs have been shed worldwide, as companies resorted to massive layoffs as part of their cost cutting measures.

Attributing to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the report said that during the three months from October to December 2008, there was a decline in employment of about half a million workers.

Among the sectors, the most hit by the financial turmoil are gems and jewellery, transport and automobiles.

"The most affected sectors were gems and jewellery, transport and automobiles where employment has declined by 8.58 per cent, 4.03 per cent and 2.42 per cent, respectively during the period (October to December 2008)," it said.

Another "thin sample survey" by the Ministry of Labour and Employment indicated that in January

Another sample survey carried out by the Department of Commerce for 402 exporting units showed that 1,09,000 jobs were shed during August 2008 to mid-January 2009 period.

"Two other surveys (by Department of Commerce) for the period August 2008 to February 9, 2009 and August 2008 to February 28, 2009 revealed job losses (direct and indirect) of 1,17,602 and 1,19,159 persons, respectively," the Economic Survey said.

However, there is a reason to be optimistic since yet another survey conducted by the Labour Bureau for the January-March period showed improvement in the employment scenario in selected sectors.

The Labour Bureau survey, which covered 3,192 units, indicated improvement in the selected sectors with employment rising by a "quarter million".

"Sectors registering increased employment were gems and jewellery (3.08 per cent), textiles (0.96 per cent), IT-BPO (0.82 per cent), handloom-powerloom (0.56 per cent) and automobile (0.10 per cent)," the Survey said quoting the Labour Bureau.

In the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12), about 58 million employment opportunities are projected to be created and the unemployment rate is anticipated to fall below five per cent.

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