There was a likely marginal improvement in aggregate employment in the first three weeks of December, compared with the previous month, according to private think-tank the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) that analyses economic indicators. The estimates on aggregate employment — or the average rate of job growth — offer yet another sign of green shoots in the economy, which contracted at a better-than-estimated 7.5 per cent in the July-September period, following a record 23.9 per cent slump in the previous quarter.
The data highlights that December is on track to become the first month showing improvement in employment following two straight months of a gradual decline, said CMIE’s managing director Mahesh Vyas in a column in Business Standard.
The CMIE data comes at a time when a new strain of coronavirus in the UK is forcing investors globally to weigh the prospect of a fast recovery from the pandemic.
“Unless there is a big surprise in the last 10 days of December, it is likely that employment could close at 394 million in December 2020,” according to Mr Vyas, who also said the economy is likely to contract at a marginally lower pace compared to the September quarter.
According to CMIE estimates, employment in the October-December period of the current financial year is estimated at 395 million, which would translate to a 2.5 per cent drop compared with 405 million in the corresponding period a year ago.
Economic activity has resumed after the government gradually eased pandemic lockdown restrictions.
Official estimates released in November showed the country entered a technical recession — or two consecutive quarters of contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) — for the first time since independence.
The government’s Chief Economist Advisor, Krishnamurthy Subramanian, has said that a V-shaped recovery could be seen across sectors with the capital and infrastructure sectors especially encouraging.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India this month revised its growth projection for the country’s real GDP for 2020-21. The central bank now expects the GDP growth at -7.5 per cent in the year ending March 31, 2021, in an upward revision from its earlier forecast of -9.5 per cent.