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created Jan 25th, 07:05 by Sawan Ivnati



391 words
176 completed
Covid-19, its multiple waves and lockdowns have had their impact on economies and businesses. Over three lakh employees have been laid off globally, mainly in the USA. It is estimated that about 40% of them are Indians. According to one estimate by a global outplacement and career transitioning firm, 965 tech companies laid off about 1,50,000 employees globally in 2022. And in the latest round of layoffs, which started two months ago, about two lakh were laid off, with 174 tech companies laying off 56,570 employees in the first 24 days of 2023 alone. A majority among them are holders of H-1B and L1 visas. The layoffs mandate that they have to find another job within 60 days, failing which, they have to return to India. While a section of them may be able to get new jobs within that period in the USA, those who do not will end up returning home. A layoff can be a shattering experience. It is not just ‘employees’ that are laid off, but minds that are affected as the axe falls when companies react to an adverse economic scenario, keeping the company’s interests above all. The insecurities over the possibility of not finding another job within the stipulated period mean anxieties over repaying existing education and other loans taken earlier. Returning to India jobless would also suggest adding to the growing army of the unemployed here.
However, the affected may do well to remember that they are returning to an assuring scenario. Human resource experts in India are expecting a return to pre-pandemic hiring levels in Indian tech and non-tech companies. Parallel measures should also be put in place to get the unemployed to consider alternate careers. A system of effective career and life skill counselling needs to be in place to resurrect shattered minds. Interestingly, there is a growing trend of many tech employees giving up their jobs and going into other careers, including farming. Many are returning to their native places in rural areas. The trend has translated into a marginal upswing in the rural employment rate. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), while the unemployment rate in urban areas increased from 8.96% in November 2022 to 10.09% in December 2022, the rural areas witnessed a decrease from 7.55% to 7.44%. Not everything is lost due to a layoff.

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