We are a part of another chapter of history which is going to define the future for our generation. The Coronavirus pandemic has drowned all our efforts towards making an economic progressing, leading to a global slowdown. The virus that originated from China was initially not taken seriously, ignoring the potential held. Today, every street, shop, and offices are shut down, making the silence noisy with each passing day.
Over 75% of the Indian economy has been shut down during this lockdown, and over 400 million daily wage and informal sector workers have been forced to stop their work completely. According to the International Labor Organization, many individuals are at risk of falling into poverty. Employees from the tech and media industry are, on the other hand, relying on remote working. Work from home is one of the rising employment trends seen on the job portals in India and other countries during these crucial times.
Unemployment rate crosses 23%
According to the data from CMIE, the unemployment rate almost tripled in the last week of March to 23.8% from 8.4% the previous week. Unemployment has been progressively growing since the month of January, during a time when the first cases of Corona Virus emerged. The scene looks to get worse with the extended lockdown period, making it a callous time to handle, especially for the daily wage workers.
India has reported a double-digit unemployment rate in urban areas before, which, however, has never been the case in rural India. As agricultural activities remain suspended due to lockdown, unemployment in rural areas has reached 13.08%, whereas it reached 14.53% in urban areas.
Government assistance for the poor
The Indian government announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore relief package to help poor and worker who need help amidst the lockdown period to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Finance Minister Nirmala SItharaman said that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Scheme will cover about 80 crore poor people and will include cash transfers & food security.
She added that each individual would get free 5kg of rice or wheat every month for the next three months, additional to the one kilogram of preferred pulse per household every month to these families for the next 3 months. The Mukhyamantri Yuvanestham scheme, which provides financial assistance to the unemployed, was not covered under the Budget 2020, which makes it a haywire situation for the jobless individuals during these times.
Startups during the times of Corona
Startups have sought help from the Prime Minister and Finance Minister during the crucial times of Corona to help them with the essential financial assistance of providing salary to employees and for loans. Startup news showcase how the lockdown can cause multiple startups to lose their businesses because of the pandemic, with plunging funding being included in the startup funding ecosystem. However, reports state that the tech, IT, and media industry will not be enduring losses as high as the other industries.