1,560 listed companies record 2.9% hike in wages in June quarter, lowest in 18 years

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The wage bill of 1,560 listed companies saw a miniscule 2.9% increase in the June quarter, the lowest growth in wages recorded by listed companies in the past 18 years with labour-intensive sectors and tourism seeing a massive dip, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said.

According to CMIE, manufacturing companies saw a 7% fall in their wage bill while the services sector was a mixed bag.

“Within manufacturing, labour intensive sectors like textile saw 29% dip in wage bill while leather industry saw a decline of 22.5%, automobile ancillaries reported a 21% decline in its wage bill and the automobiles’ wage bill went down by 18.6%,” CMIE said in its weekly report, citing the financial statement of the above companies for the quarter ended June 2020.

In the services sector, the wage bill of the tourism industry was down 30%, while hotels and was down by 20.5%, road transport by 27.6%, education by 28% and that of the real estate sector was down by 21%. The wage bill of the telecom sector, however, increased by 10.7% while banks saw a 16.6% increase in their wage bill and securities broking companies saw a 13.5% jump in their wage bills.

“These are large inter-industry variations. Although the net result shows up as a marginal increase in the wage bill implying a very small loss of jobs, the data indicate big job losses in many industries in the first quarter of 2020-21,” CMIE said, adding their estimates show a loss of 17 million salaried jobs in the quarter.

CMIE said these are preliminary results and a better picture will emerge only after a month as only about a third of all companies that usually provide such data every quarter have filed till the last weekend as the government has extended time for filing returns till September 15.

CMIE analysis further shows that while informal jobs have returned and even increased after being hit by the lockdown, formal jobs have not. “Non-salaried forms of employment have increased from 317.6 million in 2019-20 to 325.6 million in July 2020, a growth of nearly eight million jobs or an increase of 2.5% in informal employment,” it said.

“However, salaried jobs have declined by 18.9 million by the same comparison , a decline of a whopping 22% during the lockdown,” it added.

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