Due to pandemic and lockdown Slacks in market and lost of job

The coronavirus lockdown began, the first impulse was to search for historical analogies—1914, 1929, 1941? As the weeks have ground on, what has come ever more to the fore is the historical novelty of the shock that we are living through. The economy is currently in something akin to free fall. If it were to continue to contract at its current pace, 12 months from now GDP would be one-third lower than at the beginning of 2020. That is a rate of shrinkage four times faster than during the Great Depression of the 1930s. There has never been a crash landing like this before. There is something new under the sun. And it is horrifying.


As recently as five weeks ago, at the beginning of March, U.S. unemployment was at record lows. By the end of March, it had surged to somewhere around 13 percent. That is the highest number recorded since World War II. We don’t know the precise figure because our system of unemployment registration was not built to track an increase at this speed. On successive Thursdays, the number of those making initial filings for unemployment insurance has surged first to 3.3 million, then 6.6 million, and now by another 6.6 million. At the current rate, as the economist Justin Wolfers pointed out in the New York Times, U.S. unemployment is rising at nearly 0.5 percent per day. It is no longer unimaginable that the overall unemployment rate could reach 30 percent by the summer.

More than 140m migrant workers have lost jobs since the lockdown began and now face destitution.Gopal Das has laboured on construction sites in Mumbai for nearly two decades, helping build the office towers of India’s bustling financial capital. Though the rural migrant’s average monthly earnings were just Rs10,000 ($133), most was sent home to support his wife, two teenage children and ageing parents in the impoverished state of Bihar.

 But for the past six weeks, Mr Das has felt less like a worker and more like a beggar, struggling to get by without wages during India’s strict anti-coronavirus lockdown. Trapped in Mumbai after a failed effort to get a train home before all public transport was suspended on March 22, the 41-year-old has relied on daily food handouts to survive in the Bandra slum, where he shares a single room with five others.

 Some days, the labourer who had just Rs500 in his hand when curfew was imposed — receives a daytime meal from a nearby temple, or charities that occasionally distribute food. Otherwise, he depends on the police, who come to the area most evenings to dish out boiled rice and dal to the hungry, restless residents. He says he has not had a cup of tea since lockdown began. “I never thought I would have to live like this and depend on people’s charity for food,” Mr Das says.


He has just one goal now: escape the city and get back to his village and family as soon as possible. Once there, he says, he will not think of returning to the city for at least a year no matter how tough conditions are at home. “I will not put myself through such humiliation again,” he says. “I had never slept on an empty stomach in Mumbai before. But the curfew made me realise, ‘the city doesn’t care’.”


Mr Das’s ordeal is typical of the tribulations that India’s estimated 170m financially fragile, blue- collar and gig economy workers have endured since late March, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi overnight imposed one of the world’s strictest lockdowns to slow the spread of coronavirus.


Life has never been easy for India’s vast army of working poor — self-employed and casual labourers who typically work on short-term contracts, with little security. But with toil and frugality, they and their families have managed to survive. Now, though, with economic activity at a standstill, most have seen their incomes collapse to zero. The Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE) estimates about 140m people have lost jobs, pushing the unemployment rate up to 26 per cent from 8 per cent before the crisis.

 Indian workers and those who depend on them are not alone in their hardship. Shutdowns to control the deadly pathogen have sparked food riots in countries such as South Africa and fuelled protests elsewhere, including Lebanon. The UN warned last week that the world faced a “hunger pandemic”, with millions facing starvation.

 Even before the pandemic, about 250m Indians were not getting enough to eat, the UN’s World Food Programme estimates. Stunting and wasting — symptoms of both chronic and acute hunger — were already afflicting millions of Indian children. Now, economists and social activists warn that India is facing a severe humanitarian crisis, unless desperate workers are either permitted to start earning money again, or provided with substantive government relief to cope with the calamitous loss of income.

He has just one goal now: escape the city and get back to his village and family as soon as possible. Once there, he says, he will not think of returning to the city for at least a year no matter how tough conditions are at home. “I will not put myself through such humiliation again,” he says. “I had never slept on an empty stomach in Mumbai before. But the curfew made me realise, ‘the city doesn’t care’.”


Mr Das’s ordeal is typical of the tribulations that India’s estimated 170m financially fragile, blue- collar and gig economy workers have endured since late March, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi overnight imposed one of the world’s strictest lockdowns to slow the spread of coronavirus.


Life has never been easy for India’s vast army of working poor — self-employed and casual labourers who typically work on short-term contracts, with little security. But with toil and frugality, they and their families have managed to survive. Now, though, with economic activity at a standstill, most have seen their incomes collapse to zero. The Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE) estimates about 140m people have lost jobs, pushing the unemployment rate up to 26 per cent from 8 per cent before the crisis.


Indian workers and those who depend on them are not alone in their hardship. Shutdowns to control the deadly pathogen have sparked food riots in countries such as South Africa and fuelled protests elsewhere, including Lebanon. The UN warned last week that the world faced a “hunger pandemic”, with millions facing starvation.

 Even before the pandemic, about 250m Indians were not getting enough to eat, the UN’s World Food Programme estimates. Stunting and wasting — symptoms of both chronic and acute hunger — were already afflicting millions of Indian children. Now, economists and social activists warn that India is facing a severe humanitarian crisis, unless desperate workers are either permitted to start earning money again, or provided with substantive government relief to cope with the calamitous loss of income.


Written By:- Lovely Attri


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