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Job market looks up as economy recovers from Covid blues

As the Indian economy shows signs of recovery, the job market is abuzz though it is yet to reach the pre-Covid levels. Analysts said that jobs are opening up both in organised and unorganised sectors as economic activities gain momentum though the new tide of recruitment can be categorised as replacement hiring—jobs which had been lost
during the lockdown are being filled up again. Real expansionary recruitment is expected to start only in the new financial year, depending on the Union Budget announcements.

“Things are definitely moving up since the last quarter, the mood that was marked with pessimism is rapidly turning to optimism. We expect things to pick up in the new year and around April, we may reach the pre-Covid levels,” Ronesh Puri, managing director, at search firm Executive Access (India) said.

The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, however, showed that employment for October and November showed a decline despite economic activity picking up.

“The recovery in employment, from the steep fall during the April lockdown was smart initially, but it slowed down well before the recovery was completed. In fact, the recovery quickly and progressively slowed down in July, August and September. Then, it reversed in October and November,” Mahesh Vyas, MD and CEO, CMIE said in his post.

Analysts said such hiccups in terms of employment numbers—where one can see a rise and then a slump– after such a big shock is normal.

<strong>MSME sector</strong>

The micro small and medium enterprises sector (MSME), which was one of the worst affected in the lockdown to fight Covid 19 is looking up. A large chunk of the MSME sector is categorised as the unorganised segment.

The MSME sector, which employs about 11 crore people, in India is crucial for job creation. It is also key for economic revival, especially after a shocking 23.9 per cent economic contraction in the first quarter and 7.5 per cent in the second quarter.

“We have seen recruitments happening in most segments of the unorganised category. So many of the jobs that had gone with the lockdown are now back though we have a long way to touch the pre-Covid levels,” Anil Bhardwaj, secretary general, Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME).

India Briefing, a platform providing insights on doing business in India noted that the MSME base is the largest in the world after China. “The sector provides a wide range of services and is engaged in the manufacturing of over 6,000 products—ranging from traditional to hi-tech items,” India Briefing website said, adding that there are
about 63.05 million micro industries, 0.33 million small, and about 5,000 medium enterprises in the country.

Analysts added that as many companies look to relocate their manufacturing facilities from China to India, many more jobs would open up in the coming months..