Contract jobs dip in Q1: Govt survey

Written by Raj Kumar Ray | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 10 2012, 07:47am hrs
At least 24,000 contractual workers lost their jobs in sectors like auto, textile, metals and IT during April-June as companies tried to cut cost to beat the slowdown, a labour ministry survey showed.

Ironically, direct employment increased by 0.97 lakh sequentially during the Q1 of 2012-13 mostly in IT and textile industries as companies hired more skilled workers to replace unskilled contract workers.

The decline in contractual jobs during Q1 was more pronounced than 0.03 lakh fall in January-March. It had risen by 0.32 lakh during October-December 2011.

On a year-on-year basis, the direct employment was up by 6.92 lakh until June 2012, while it was marginally down for contract labour.

The maximum decline in employment of contract workers is observed in the automobiles sector (0.28 lakh) followed by leather (0.09 lakh), handloom/powerloom (0.04 lakh during the period June 2011 to June 2012, the report said.

While companies tend to slash contract workers whenever there is a downturn, there is a increasing trend of absorbing the productive contractual workers.

Overall employment growth in Q1 of 2012-13 was up by a measly 0.24% sequentially as companies in metals and automobile sectors cut jobs while transport, leather and handloom firms froze fresh hiring following a sharp slowdown in industrial activity.