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New Delhi: While employment opportunities for both men and women have declined since the outbreak of the covid-19, especially during lockdowns, women employment in the manufacturing sector was impacted more than men.

At least 36.67% of the firms surveyed agreed that “women’s employment in the manufacturing sector was more adversely impacted than women’s employment in the service sector. Only 25.33% disagreed with this", according to a survey by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and industry chamber Ficci (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry). The rest were inclusive in their response.

While 60% of the heads of the firms surveyed said that there was no change in the employment of men in the formal sector in the lockdown, around 55% of the corporate firms said that there was no change in women’s employment in the formal sector.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a growing debate about the dwindling labour force participation rate. While lack of job opportunities has been one of the key factors, experts have been underscoring that socio-economic reasons, children’s education and more workload at families during covid lockdowns as factors that impacted the employment status of women in formal and informal sectors.

The survey that collected data from over 150 firms also underlined that at least 34% of them said their business had decreased in comparison to the pre-pandemic scenario. At least 44% of the surveyed firms said that while business had decreased during the lockdown, it is gradually recovering in the post-lockdown period. “This reflects the temporary downturn in economic activities in the formal sector," the survey said, adding that just 10% of the companies surveyed said that the pandemic had no impact on their business.

As per the survey, around 69% of the company heads surveyed stated that they had to adjust their investment plans during the lockdown and around 64% conceded that they had made adjustments in the hiring strategy and employment patterns of their organization.

Similarly, 59% and 53% of the employers have made adjustments in terms of employment benefits and executive compensation strategies, respectively.

Separately, the UNDP had said on Friday that the gig economy has the potential to create more job opportunities for women and increase their participation in the workforce.

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