Abhishek Anand
Harvard Kennedy School
Working Paper
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● Gendered impact of Covid-19 lockdown on employment: The case of India
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In March 2020, India imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in the world to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. As the economic activities came to total suspension of economic activity after the imposition of the lockdown, the unemployment rate reached unprecedented levels. As per CMIE data, the unemployment rate increased by nearly 14.8 percentage points in just one month, rising to 23.5% in Apr 2020. However, the distributional effects of economic slowdown have not be shared uniformly. Using panel data, constructed from four rounds of CMIEs unit level employment survey data, I show that the decline in average employment level for women was higher by 28.1 percentage points relative to men during the lockdown period which further worsened to 41.3 percentage points by December 2020 even as lockdown measures were considerably eased.

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