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India’s job market is recovering from the Covid-19 shock—but very slowly

REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
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India’s jobs market has started recovering.

With a slowing economy and the Covid-19 pandemic, Indian companies had begun to cut jobs in April. Those that didn’t take the layoffs route cut salaries for their employees. This scenario was made worse by India’s strict coronavirus lockdown in the months of April and May.

But once these lockdown rules were relaxed and businesses were allowed to operate with more ease, hiring activity picked up, according to, one of India’s largest job sites. Based on the listings on its platform, Naukri monitors recruitment activity for blue-collar jobs across sectors and cities in India to bring out the JobSpeak Index. A monthly index, it uses 2008 as the base year and 1,000 as the base value.

“July marks marginal recovery in month-on-month hiring activities,” said Pawan Goyal, chief business officer at According to the JobSpeak Index for July, hiring activity saw an improvement of 5% from that of June.

But this was, at best, a marginal improvement.

Hiring is still 47% lower than it was for the same month in 2019.

Green shoots

The picture, though, is beginning to look less bleak.

This improvement was led by the recruitment sector. “Industries such as recruitment/employment, media/entertainment, and construction/engineering bounce back as lockdown restrictions are eased further,” Goyal said.

In a big departure from the big city narrative, metropolitan cities in India experienced slower job growth than smaller cities like Jaipur and Vadodara.

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