Nearly 23 crore Indians have been pushed into poverty during the past one year, as the pandemic and the eventual lockdowns wreaked havoc on the economy and livelihoods.,
a report by Azim Premji University showed that the rural poverty rate increased by 15 percentage points and the urban poverty rate was up nearly 20 points.
"The number of individuals who lie below the national minimum wage threshold (Rs 375 per day as recommended by the Anoop Satpathy committee) increased by 230 million during the pandemic," said the report titled 'State of Working India 2021: One Year of Covid-19'. It noted that though incomes fell across the board, the pandemic has taken a far heavier toll on poorer households. In April and May, the poorest 20 percent of households lost their entire incomes.
Further, as per the report about 1.5 crore workers remained out of work by the end of 2020. About 10 crore people lost jobs during the nationwide April-May 2020 lockdown.
Incomes also remained depressed. Average monthly household income per capita in October 2020 (Rs 4,979) was still below its level in January 2020 (Rs 5,989).
Job losses were higher for states with a higher average Covid case load. Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi, contributed disproportionately to job losses.
The report showed that younger workers were much more impacted, experiencing higher job losses, of a more permanent nature. Around 33 percent of workers in the 15-24 years age group failed to recover employment even by December 2020. This number was only 6 percent in the 25-44 years group.