Job distress: How Indians are losing employment across sectors – from textiles to banking to IT

By: | Published: October 3, 2017 3:18 PM

In the wake of economy's downward spiral, a trail of job losses has been identified across sectors like textile, capital goods, banking, I-T, start-ups, energy, and more.

economic slowdown, job distress, india jobs, india jobs distress, economic downturn, india economy, india news, india business news, textile industry indiaScores of people have lost jobs across many sectors in recent years. (PTI file)

In the wake of economy’s downward spiral, a trail of job losses has been identified across sectors like textile, capital goods, banking, I-T, start-ups, energy, and more by The Indian Express. Though there is near absence of consolidated employment data, disaggregated data collected from all these sectors by IE revealed the spreading job distress.

For instance, 67 textile sector units have been reportedly closed in last three years, affecting over 17,600 workers. This has been revealed by the Union Textile Ministry data, restricted to organised segment of cotton and man-made fibre textile mills. This also excluded small scale industries in the textile sector, which have reportedly seen higher shutdowns and job losses.

In the first two quarters of the fiscal ending March 31, 2017, as many as 14,000 employees were laid off by capital goods major Larsen& Toubro. Similarly, three major IT companies – TCS, Infosys and tech Mahindra -saw their workforce shrink by a combined around 5000 people. HDFC’s headcount came down by 6,096 during January-March 2017. In the preceding quarter, HDFC had lost 4851 heads.

In the renewable energy sector, Suzlon Energy Ltd and ReGen Powertech have reportedly retrenched over 1500 staff in last six months, while equipment maker Inox Wind Ltd has not paid salaries to staff over the last two months.

In 2016, as many as 212 start-ups, including TinyOwl and PepperTap, closed down. IE reports that job distress has come when three drivers of the economy – private investment private consumption and exports – are not firing. The growth is being largely driven by the government spend at present.

Small players have been hit hard by demonetisation and transition to GST. In textile sector, over 17,600 workers have been impacted by closure of 67 units in last three years. “Most of these (shut units) are in the powerloom sector. The non-SSI unit shutdown figures for the past three years is broadly in line with some of the previous years,” a senior Ministry official told IE. He further said that details of closure of textile units in decentralized sectors were not available.

Tarachand Kasat, president of GST Sangharsh Samiti in Surat, told IE that units in filament yarn and man-made fibre product business in Surat are losing around Rs 1.25 crore a day since the July GST rollout.

HDFC Bank told IE that falling staff strength may continue “as greater efficiencies set in”. The report says that worrying aspect is on two counts. First, sectors such as financial services and IT/BPO are laying of people on a mass scale and new economy sectors are also facing downward slide. However, NASSCOM said the IT-ITES sector is estimated to employ around 39 lakh people, which is an addition of around 175,000 people over FY 2016-17.

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