Unemployment Amid The Pandemic

India, undoubtedly, is grappling with the problem of unemployment amid the pandemic. It has led to a spike in the country’s unemployment rate to 27.11%. Unemployment is more prominent in urban areas than in rural areas. Unemployment or underemployment levels of women are higher than those of men. Reports say that the rate of unemployment is the highest in urban areas, which constitute the most number of red zones due to the increase in the number of corona virus cases. Ever since, the country was put under lock down on March 25 to curb the spread of the deadly virus, India has seen a major fall in the economy. Perhaps the biggest cause of concern is the higher rate of joblessness among the youth, especially in the age group of 20 to 24 years.
India is a developing economy. The nature of employment sharply varies from the one that prevails in industrially advanced countries like the United States of America. Unemployment is a sheer waste of manpower. The socio -economic repercussions of unemployment are dangerous.

• Specific individual consequences of unemployment are obvious. How do we buy food? Pay the rent? Buying even the basic necessities could be tough, much less buying the latest technology gadget. These consequences are real for the unemployed, and the accumulative effects are visible in the entire economy as individuals and businesses struggle to meet the challenges that unemployment creates.

• Social consequences of prolonged unemployment can be significant. Studies suggest that a high unemployment rate is directly related to increases in property-related crime. Unemployment can also affect the health of individuals and families. A study of people with a high risk of unemployment found that they decreased their consumption of fruit and vegetables. Such a diet change can affect workers’ as well as their children’s health in the long run. Inadequate nutrition of children, a particular risk in low-income families, can hinder their physical and mental development.

• The slow rate of economic growth leads to poverty. It leads to many problems in the society. It gives rise to child labour. Poverty also leads to illiteracy, crime, corruption etc. There are reports of farmers committing suicide for not being able to repay loans. For a better source of living, people migrate to towns and cities. In fact, people below the poverty line e create slum areas in the cities. Slums have very poor hygienic conditions. They are forced to dwell under impoverished living conditions.
Example – Asia’s Largest Slum, Dharavi has an area of just over 2.1 square kilometers (0.81 sq. mi; 520 acres) and a population of about 1,000,000. With a population density of over 277,136/km2 (717,780/sq. mi), Dharavi is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

To mitigate the economic effects on society of the Coronavirus Outbreak, several measures have been taken. The measured are intended to provide greater security for those affected by the pandemic by limiting the spread of the deadly virus, combating the effects on businesses and jobs and providing financial security and transition opportunities for those who become unemployed.

Reducing The Spread Of The Virus
Everyone working in health care and infectious disease control must have the tools and resources needed to curb the spread of the virus. The local Government sector is therefore being given funding ,both targeted and general, to deal with the immediate additional costs resulting from the outbreak.

Tackling Rising Unemployment
Despite the extensive measures the Government has taken to support viable businesses, many people are going to lose their jobs. In view of the present economic situation several temporary changes have been made in unemployment insurance to make it easier to qualify for benefit and to ensure that this insurance provides greater financial security for people who become unemployed. In addition, more measures are proposed to provide good transition opportunities.

This is a global pandemic. Every county is caught in its own problems. No country is in a position to extend help for others. India, too, is alone in this. As citizens, we ought to abide by the stringent guidelines ,the Government has imposed to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

Author: Shrabani Chakraborty

A Story Teller