COVID-19 impact on unemployment rate in India 2020

A damaging impact on an economy as large as India’s caused due a total lockdown was imminent. Unemployment went up to 24 percent on May 17, 2020. This was possibly a result of a decrease in demand as well as the disruption of workforce faced by companies. Furthermore, this caused a GVA loss of more than nine percent for the Indian economy that month.

The trickle-down effect

Between February and April 2020, the share of households that experienced a fall in income shot up to nearly 46 percent. Inflation rates on goods and services including food products and fuel were expected to rise later this year. Social distancing resulted in the job losses, specifically those Indian society’s lower economic strata. Several households terminated domestic help services – essentially an unorganized monthly-paying job. Most Indians spent a large amount of time engaging in household chores themselves, making it the most widely practiced lockdown activity.

Aid from the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana

The most devastating impact of the virus and the lockdown had been on the economically backward classes, with limited access to proper healthcare and other resources. This resulted the government has launched various programs and campaigns to help sustain these households. Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 312 billion Indian rupees were accrued and provided to around 331 million beneficiaries that included women, construction workers, farmers, and senior citizens. More aid was announced in mid-May, to mainly support small businesses through the crisis.

Impact on unemployment rate due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown in India from January to May 2020

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Release date

May 2020



Survey time period

January 26 to May 17, 2020

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