ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Impact of Lockdown on Employment and Earnings

The Periodic Labour Force Survey is an important official source of data on the labour force. In this paper, we make use of the data on activity statuses according to the daily, weekly, and the principal usual status approaches and the earnings data from PLFS 2019–20 to study the impact of the lockdown on employment and earnings. 

The authors acknowledge the insightful comments on the draft by Radhicka Kapoor.

The COVID-19 outbreak appeared as a national crisis towards the middle of March 2020. To counter the spread of the pandemic, the government ordered a nationwide lockdown from 24 March 2020. Economic activities resumed partially from the first week of June with restrictions on activities and movement continuing in many sectors and areas. We do not have direct official estimate of employment and income loss due to the lockdown. Recently the National Statistical Office (NSO) has published the results of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) covering the period from July 2019 to June 2020. The last two quarters of this round cover the first phase of the lockdown and help throw some light on its impact on employment and earnings. In this paper, we estimate the employment-related indicators and non-rentier incomes of working members of households using the PLFS data1 to understand the extent of change in employment and earnings during the lockdown.

As the lockdown was sudden and specifically intended to curtail the activities of large sections of the workforce, the conventional one-dimensional indicators fail to reveal the nature of the job situation during the lockdown. So, we will first briefly discuss this and suggest more appropriate indicators and estimate them from the survey data. Later we will look at the quarter-wise estimates specifically focusing on the last two quarters of the survey using the daily activity status data. Finally, we end the paper after looking at the earning data to estimate the loss for different categories of workers in each quarter.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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