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Female Labor Participation Rate in India Plummets to 16.1% After Covid-19 Hurts the Economy

Pandemic’s blows on the economy has reduced the female labor participation rate to a significantly low percentage

Wednesday, 4th August 2021

India witnessed a slump in the Female Labour Participation rate in the third quarter of the year 2020 as it fell to 16.1 per cent, as per a government report. This is one of the lowest when compared to several economies across the globe and goes on to show the derogatory impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the job market entailing severe employment crunch.

Female Labour Force Participation is a key factor that drives growth in a country and hence a higher participation indicates more and rapid growth potential for the nation.

During the April – June quarter of last year, the figures had plummeted further reaching a record low of 15.5 per cent. This was the time when the country had clamped down stringent lockdown measures in order to curb the rapid spread of Covid-19 infection, according to the report released by the Ministry of Statistics late on Monday.

The World Bank has shown data that suggests that India features among those countries that have the lowest female labour force participation rates in the entire world. The report shows that less than one third of the country’s female population who are of the age 15 years or above hold a job or are actively looking for one.

The World Bank estimates also show that the female labour participation rate in India was above 26 per cent in 2005 which sharply fell to 20.3 per cent in 2019. These are concerning figures as when compared to its immediate neighbours, countries like Bangladesh are sitting on a 30.5 per cent while Sri Lanka have a 33.7 female labour participation rate.

The maximum share of employed women in India belong to sectors which have been hit hardest by the pandemic. These include the low-skilled work segment such as farm and factory labour and domestic help.

While the unemployment rate among men hovered around 12.6 per cent, it was nearly 15.8 per cent among female workers, during the July – September quarter of 2020.

According to government officials, as the economy slowly begins to gain a foothold after significant relaxations in Covid-19 related curbs, there is the possibility of sufficient growth in the creation of new jobs for all workers.

Several private economists however opine that it could be a while before the economy would raise its head especially because of the slow vaccination rate and a collapse in consumer demand.

The News Talkie Bureau



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