A joint report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has revealed that as many as 41 lakh youth in the country lost jobs due to the Covid pandemic while construction and farm sector workers account for the majority of job losses.
“For India, the report estimates job loss for 4.1 million youth. Construction and agriculture have witnessed the major job losses among seven key sectors,” said the ILO-ADB report, titled ‘Tackling the COVID-19 youth employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific’, released on Tuesday. The young people’s employment prospects in Asia and the Pacific are severely challenged due to the pandemic, it added.
Youth (15-24 years) will be hit harder than adults (25 and older) in the immediate crisis and risk bearing higher longer-term economic and social costs, said the report. The report is based on regional assessment of the ‘Global Survey on Youth and COVID-19’ and arrived at estimates based on available unemployment data in different countries. It said that in India, two-thirds of firm-level apprenticeships and three quarters of internships were completely interrupted during the pandemic.
The report calls on governments in the region to adopt urgent, large-scale and targeted measures to generate jobs for the youth, keep education and training on track, and to minimise future scarring of more than 660 million young people in the region. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, youth in Asia and the Pacific faced challenges in the labour market, resulting in high unemployment rates and large shares of youth excluded from both school and work.