Pre-Budget: Jobs remain elusive, quality jobs even more so

Collected Image
Sanjay Maiti, 43, is hurrying down Kolkata's Burrabazar to reach the small firm, whose accounts ledger he prepares after handling cash at an eatery off Strand Road.

After losing his job as an accountant in a metal works in Howrah, soon after the Covid pandemic broke out three years back, and a period of being cooped up in his two-room flat near Posta market during the lockdown, he had landed first the part-time work at the wholesaler firm dealing in gunny bags and then the cash counterat the eatery. "I juggle two jobs now... and earn about the same money that I was getting at the metal works... but my quality of work life has gone down. Longer working hours, no safety net for health or old age," said Maiti (surname has been changed to protect his identity).

Maiti is not the only one complaining. As the economy slowly picks up after the pandemic-induced business meltdown, jobs are trickling into the market but their quality is often patchy, as most of them are in the informal sector.

At the same time with population growth and more new entrants joining the job market jostling with those who lost work during the pandemic, job opportunities are still too few and far between.

"Growth is being driven mostly by large corporates who have recovered from two years of COVID-19, but the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) or the semi-formal sector is part dead and in part hasn't recovered from the double whammy of demonetisation and the pandemic," explained Dr Pronab Sen, noted economist and former chairman of the National Statistical Commission.

Tags :

Share this news on: