Policy Engagements and Blogs

India Speak Episode 2: Impact of the Second Wave on Unemployment and Labour Force Participation

Yamini Aiyar

June 3, 2021


The second wave of the pandemic saw localised lockdowns across India that brought economic activities to a halt. What has been the impact of this on unemployment and labour force participation? In this episode of India Speak, Yamini Aiyar (President and Chief Executive, CPR) speaks to Mahesh Vyas [Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE)]. Through its surveys, CMIE has been closely tracking the health of the Indian economy, particularly the labour market, consumer sentiment and investment patterns.

Vyas sheds light on the trends in unemployment and labour participation rates during the peak of the national lockdown, the phase of economic recovery and the second wave. He discusses the impact of increased informality and decreased female labour force participation and the lessons learned from the first wave of COVID-19. Further, he underscores the impact of the second wave on consumer sentiment and what the government must do to revive the economy. Finally, he discusses the need to monitor the economy regularly and ways to strengthen India’s statistical systems.

About the Series

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic poses serious challenges that need immediate attention. The collapse of an already strained health system, vaccine supply shortage, an unprecedented economic crisis and sharpening inequality, are factors that raise crucial concerns. How must India confront this crisis? The Centre for Policy Research (CPR) brings leading experts to discuss what the country’s response should look like in a new podcast series, India and the Pandemic.

Listen to other episodes in this series: