Around 62% of people had lost their jobs during April-May 2020 when the "general holiday" was put in place to face the first wave of Covid-19.
Subsequently only 15% could get a job the following month, while 85% remained unemployed for a longer period, according to a survey by the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD). Almost all of these people were able to find a job by February 2021 when the adverse impact of the first wave started to recede. The study did not capture the second wave of the pandemic.
Most of the 'incremental employment' was generated in the agriculture sector, where the share of the labour force increased from 24.3% to 27.5%. At the same time, a significant number of people left the services sector, as its share of the labour force declined from 55% to 52%. For the industrial sector it remained unchanged at just above 20%.
Self-employed, contributing family members and day labourers have contributed to about 90% of the incremental jobs, indicating a substitution of formal by informal sector employment.
Although people could find employment, they are working for a lower number of hours, on average, particularly in the agriculture sector, followed by the industry sector.
The average monthly income of individuals eroded by 11.3%. The decline in income has pushed a significant number of people into lower-income groups – indicating a higher poverty incidence. At the same time income inequality increased.
More than 40% of the employed population reported that their employment situation was worse than the pre-COVID-19 period.