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Web Desk 28/05/2020

The world’s biggest lockdown forced 122 million people out of jobs in India in April 2020, according to estimates by Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).

Employment plunged in April after the government imposed a 40-day lockdown in a nation of 1.3 billion people, forcing businesses to shut and pushing up the jobless rate to 27.1% in the week ended May 3, surveys by CMIE showed.

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Daily wage workers and those employed by small businesses have taken a massive blow, according to CMIE. These include hawkers, roadside vendors, workers employed in the construction industry and many who eke out a living by pushing handcarts to rickshaws.

The estimates of India’s job losses are more than four times the 30 million Americans who’ve filed for unemployment benefits over six weeks. The data could get worse in India with the lockdown extended in many areas, the CMIE warned.

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The government began easing restrictions in some areas in the mid week of May, resulting in violence and chaos as liquor stores reopened and transport resumed for migrant workers stranded during the lockdown.

The economic crisis will be one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s biggest tests.

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The CMIE figures show more people are also looking for jobs amid the downturn. The labor participation rate rose to 36.2% in the week ended May 3 from 35.4% previously.

The last official unemployment figures from the government, released in May 2019, estimated the unemployment rate at 6.1% in the year to June 2018.