When it came to job recovery after the lockdown, women did worse than men, according to a survey.
The second round of the COVID-19 Livelihoods Survey, conducted by Azim Premji University in collaboration with six civil society organisations, indicated that a continued and increased allocation for MGNREGA, as well as the implementation of an urban jobs scheme in the upcoming Budget, were critical for addressing the country’s livelihood crisis.
More than two-thirds (69%) of those working in February lost their jobs during the lockdown, according to a survey conducted in October, November, and December 2020.
Even six months after the lockdown, the economy had not fully recovered from the COVID-19 shock. One-fifth of those who were working prior to the lockdown were already unemployed. According to the survey, earnings have recovered for those who have returned to work, but the situation is distressing for those who cannot find work. Just 26 jobs out of every 100 were unaffected by the lockdown, according to the report. Although 55 people were able to reclaim their jobs, 15 people had yet to do so.
According to the report, women workers did worse than men in terms of job recovery (53 percent versus 57 percent ). Despite a faster recovery, urban areas were hit harder. During the lockdown, nine out of ten households reported reducing their food intake. About a third of respondents said their consumption had returned to pre-lockdown levels six months later. In comparison to rural households, 28 percent of urban households reported that food intake was still on lockdown, compared to 15 percent of rural households.
“Our findings indicate that continuing to increase MGNREGA allocations, as well as introducing an urban jobs scheme in the upcoming Budget, are critical for resolving this livelihood crisis,” the survey concluded. It was urgently necessary to extend the reach of the current PDS, given the weakness in food and earnings recovery, it was recommended.
The initial survey, conducted in April-May, included nearly 5,000 people, the majority of whom were from low-income and disadvantaged households. The second study re-interviewed 2,778 of these respondents from 12 states to better understand what economic recovery meant for self-employed, casual, and daily wage/salaried jobs.