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When India lost 6 lakh jobs in 4 months!

Last updated on: July 2, 2009 

Image: A jobless man shows his empty wallet.
Photographs: Jagadeesh NV/Reuters

More than 600,000 Indians, many employed in the gems and jewellery sector, lost jobs in just four months from October 2008 as the impact of the global economic crisis hit the country's shores.

About 500,000 people lost their jobs in the October- December 2008 period, while over 100,000 were shed in January this year, the Economic Survey said.

In September, the crisis turned severe following the bankruptcy of American financial services major Lehman Brothers. Since then, millions of jobs have been shed worldwide, as companies resorted to massive layoffs as part of their cost cutting measures.

When India lost 6 lakh jobs in 4 months!

Image: A visitor tries on jewellery during the three-day International Gems and Jewellery Expo in Hyderabad.
Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters

Attributing to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the report said that during the three months from October to December 2008, there was a decline in employment of about half a million workers.

Among the sectors, the most hit by the financial turmoil are gems and jewellery, transport and automobiles.

"The most affected sectors were gems and jewellery, transport and automobiles where employment has declined by 8.58 per cent, 4.03 per cent and 2.42 per cent, respectively, during the period (October to December 2008)," it said.

When India lost 6 lakh jobs in 4 months!

Image: A man walks past a car displayed at a Mercedes-Benz showroom in Mumbai.
Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters

Another 'thin sample survey' by the Ministry of Labour and Employment indicated that in January about 100,000 jobs were lost.

Another sample survey carried out by the Department of Commerce for 402 exporting units showed that 109,000 jobs were shed during August 2008 to mid-January 2009 period.

"Two other surveys (by Department of Commerce) for the period August 2008 to February 9, 2009 and August 2008 to February 28, 2009 revealed job losses (direct and indirect) of 1,17,602 and 1,19,159 persons, respectively," the Economic Survey said.

When India lost 6 lakh jobs in 4 months!

Image: Indian workers pull a cart laden with steel pipes in Mumbai.
Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters

However, there is a reason to be optimistic since yet another survey conducted by the Labour Bureau for the January-March period showed improvement in the employment scenario in selected sectors.

The Labour Bureau survey, which covered 3,192 units, indicated improvement in the selected sectors with employment rising by a 'quarter million'.

When India lost 6 lakh jobs in 4 months!

Image: A labourer carries a roll of cloth at a roadside dye factory in Siliguri.
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

"Sectors registering increased employment were gems and jewellery (3.08 per cent), textiles (0.96 per cent), IT-BPO (0.82 per cent), handloom-powerloom (0.56 per cent) and automobile (0.10 per cent)," the Survey said quoting the Labour Bureau.

In the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12), about 58 million employment opportunities are projected to be created and the unemployment rate is anticipated to fall below 5 per cent.

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