India’s Informal Workers Under the Lockdown: A Snapshot
Authored by - Shubhangi Gokhroo
Edited by - Kavita Majumdar
Read the paper here.
The informal sector employs over 90% of the total Indian workforce (Murthy 2019). The COVID-19-induced lockdowns massively reduced demand for various non-essential goods produced by the informal economy, leading to a decrease in production levels. This significantly contributed to the soaring levels of unemployment in and beyond this sector. Not only did the income of the informal workforce take a hit, but limited savings made survival extremely difficult, adversely impacting their livelihood. Consequently, the informal workforce entered a trap that reinforces their wage loss, fall in consumption levels, and high indebtedness. This issue brief analyses the impact of the COVID-19-induced lockdown and the economic slowdown on India’s informal workforce.