Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

News by Numbers: White collar workers see biggest job losses due to Covid-19

While the pandemic barely had an impact on white collar clerical employees such as secretaries and data entry operators, industrial workers saw a big dip in employment

Naini Thaker
Published: Sep 18, 2020 03:42:24 PM IST
Updated: Sep 18, 2020 04:04:50 PM IST

News by Numbers: White collar workers see biggest job losses due to Covid-19
According to a recent report published by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) it is the white collar professionals who have seen the biggest job losses amongst salaried employees. Professionals such as software engineers, physicians, teachers, accountants and analysts who are employed either in private of government organisations have had to bear the brunt.

During January to April 2016, close to 12.5 million white collar professionals were employed and employment in this category touched its peak during May-August 2019 at 18.8 million. Although there was a drop to 18.1 million during January-April 2020—due to a partial effect of Covid-19—a serious impact of the outbreak was observed during May to August 2020, with employment dropping to 12.2 million in this category. This is the lowest employment for employed white collar professionals since 2016.

However, the pandemic barely had an impact on white collar clerical employees, including secretaries, office clerks, BPO workers and data-entry operators. This category has not seen any growth since 2016, but unlike most other categories, it did not slide further down due to the pandemic. According to CMIE, it could possibly be due to the shift to work from home.

It is the industrial workers, though, who have suffered the most. As per CMIE's report, 5 million industrial workers lost jobs, which translates to a 26 percent fall in employment over a year.