Explaining COVID-19 Lockdown, Employment and Migration in India: Challenges and Prospects

Purna Chandra Parida, Director, National Institute of Labour Economics Research and Development
Yogesh Suri, Director-General, NILERD & Senior Adviser at NITI Aayog

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This paper makes an attempt to do an assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on employment and migration in India. The analysis is based on up-to-date facts and figures available in the public domain on economic growth, employment and migration. Using the employment elasticity approach, the study estimates employment loss during 2020-21 owing to the negative impact of COVID-19 on economic activities. The results of the study suggest that the country may witness job loss with the tune of 18.5  18.8 million in the current fiscal year. This in turn would shoot up the unemployment rate from 5.8% in 2018-19 to 8.9% in 2020-21, warranting a coordinated and focused approach from both the Central and State governments to uplift the confidence of the people and bring back the lost jobs, particularly the migrant workers. The study also emphasises on Central government’s urgent attention and action plan for uplifting the rural economy in order to revive India’s economy in the short run.

Keywords: Employment growth, Migration, Impact of COVID-19, Indian Economy

Suggested citation:
Parida Purna Chandra and Yogesh Suri. 2021. “Explaining COVID-19 Lockdown, Employment and Migration in India: Challenges and Prospects” Centre for Sustainable Employment Working Paper #38, Azim Premji University, Bangalore.