Cost of demonetisation: 1.52 mn casual workers in eight sectors lost jobs

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If you thought long queues outside banks and automated teller machines (ATMs) were the only consequences of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move, think again. Labour Bureau data shows 152,000 casual workers have lost their jobs due to invalidation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on November 8, 2016.

According to the quarterly report on employment scenario in select sectors by the Labour Bureau, a wing of the labour ministry, these lost jobs are spread across eight sectors, including information technology (IT), transport, manufacturing, as on January 1, 2017, compared to October 1, 2016.

There was an increase of 168,000 full-time workers while the number of part-time workers fell by 46,000, added the survey. Contract and regular jobs saw a jump of 124,000 and 139,000 respectively during this period.

The overall increase over third quarter of the financial year 2017 (July-September) in the eight sectors under review came to 122,000, which included type of economic activity, gender, type of worker (employee or self-employee), employment status (regular, contractual and casual) and duration of work (part- time or full-time). 

Manufacturing, trade, transport, IT-BPO, education and health contributed with an estimated increase of 123,000 workers whereas construction sector saw a decline. 

The sectors that saw employment additions include manufacturing, trade, transport, IT-BPO, education and health. There was no change in accommodation and restaurant sectors. 

Out of the total estimated change in employment of 122,000 people, females accounted for 52,000 and males 70,000. The self-employed category witnessed an increase of 11,000.

Several economists, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, criticised the note as having brought untold misery on the common man, especially those in the unorganised sector like daily wagers and migrant workers. 

However, the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) is yet to come out with its findings on the effects of demonetisation on the economy.

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