Author(s):
Amit Basole
CSE, Azim Premji University
Rosa Abraham
CSE, Azim Premji University
Surbhi Kesar
CSE, Azim Premji University
Published:
Working Paper
Citation(s):
Citation(s) not specified
JEL Code(s):
J21, J46, J64

We investigate the employment effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated containment measures by constructing a panel of individuals who were interviewed prior to the lockdown (in December 2019), during the lockdown (in April 2020) and afterwards (in August 2020). Using the Consumer Pyramids Household Survey panel, we identify four distinct employment experiences for those who were in the workforce just prior to the lockdown: no loss of employment (No effect), loss of employment followed by recovery (Recovery), loss of employment with no recovery (No recovery), and a delayed loss of employment (Delayed job loss).Overall, 54% of individuals experienced no job loss, while 30% lost work in April but had recovered by August. 12% had not recovered employment as of August 2020. We analyse how these trajectories vary across different social and economic characteristics to quantify contractions and recovery in the labour market and extent to which the vulnerabilities vary across different social groups, employment arrangements, and industries. We find that women were substantially more likely to lose employment as well as less likely to recover employment. Job loss was also more severe for lower castes as compared to intermediate and upper castes and for daily wage workers as compared to regular wage workers. For those who were employed in both December 2019 and August 2020, we examine the changes in employment arrangements. We find a much greater frequency of transitions from wage employment to self-employment than in the seasonally comparable period last year (Dec 2018 to Aug 2019), indicating that the labour market continued to be weak forcing workers into fallback options.

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