Covid Impact: Hiring For Govt Jobs Drop To 3-Year Low; Hiring Down By 27%

The second wave saw major employment losses especially in April totalled at least 7.35 million, following small employment losses in February and March.
The second wave saw major employment losses especially in April totalled at least 7.35 million, following small employment losses in February and March.

A government job is one of the most secure professions in India since it is stable and offers a competitive income, as well as a variety of perks, flexibility, and bonuses.

However, as the coronavirus pandemic spread misery far and wide, hiring for government posts has slowed dramatically, hitting its lowest level in at least three years in FY21.

Widespread Unemployment Emerging As A Grave Concern

Why Unemployment Is Increasing In India?

We all know that India has a huge workforce and every year 1.2 crore people enter but the pace of job creation is going down gradually. 

The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is causing an increase in unemployment. It should be observed that the second wave of the pandemic struck India at a time when the country’s economy was still recovering.

According to payroll data from the National Pension System (NPS), while the central government recruited 27% fewer individuals in FY21, states recruited 21% fewer.

Hiring Slowdown

In FY20, the government employed about 119,000 permanent employees, but that figure plummeted to 87,423 in FY21. In FY21, states recruited 389,052 individuals, down over 107,000 from the previous year.

The data indicates that not only the private sector, but even the government has also slowed down hiring in the middle of an adverse economic environment.

State-level Lockdowns Impacting Economic Activity

According to figures released earlier this month by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the second wave saw major employment losses especially in April totalled at least 7.35 million, following small employment losses in February and March.

Due to the extensive economic effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, government job employment fell to its lowest level in three years in FY21.

The number of employees, both salaried and non-salaried, fell from 398.14 million in March to 390.79 million in April, registering a third straight month of decline.

Why Government Hiring Is Going Down Year After Year?

Payroll data from National Pension System (NPS), cited in a livemint.com report, suggests that central government job hirings were 27 per cent lower in FY21. Even states hired 20 per cent less in 2020-21, suggested data.

Prem Chand, general secretary, Indian Public Service Employees Federation (IPSEF) said “Government hiring is going down year after year and this trend will continue because departments at the Union government level and even in states are reducing permanent positions and increasingly going for contract employment. Multi-tasking contract workers, as the government calls them, are being hired instead of permanent employees,” 

Outsourcing Agencies To Meet Short-term Requirements

The Union government told the Lok Sabha in March that it is hiring outsourced employees at the ministry and department levels, but it does not have a central record.

“There are two reasons why the government is doing so – one, they want to reduce employee costs and two, contract workers won’t be able to speak up against the system. At any ministry, you can easily spot contract workers deployed for secretarial support services. Even a portion of the secretary and additional secretary support staff are now going to contract workers. They are hired through private contractors and that’s the reason permanent workers’ hiring is falling regularly,” Chand of IPSEF explained.

 “The establishments in the government may outsource employees based on their respective requirements. The General Financial Rules 2017 (GFR 2017) allow central government establishments to outsource certain services. As each ministry/department is competent to procure services of outsourcing agencies at its level to meet seasonal or short-term requirements, the centralized data is not maintained in this regard,” the department of personnel and training (DoPT) informed the Parliament.

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