Layoffs during COVID-19 – Startups favored survival strategy
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Layoffs during COVID-19 – Startups favored survival strategy

96 views • Sep 08th, 2020

COVID-19 has impacted the global economy hard and businesses are scampering to keep afloat. Most have taken the usual route that follows such hard times – layoff temporary and permanent staff to reduce operational costs as much as possible, without much consideration for the hardships they would face in this environment.

In India, as per the data published by CMIE on September 6, 2020, the overall unemployment rate has reached 8.1%. Breaking it down reveals that the unemployment rate in Urban India is 9.5%, whereas in Rural India is 7.5%.

Given the weak economic activities and uncertainty all around, several Start-up businesses have either laid off or furloughed, coupled with salary cuts to save cash after revenues took a hit. 

About 85% of total layoffs are not covered by the media but we have tried to crowdsource the available data to create an analytical view of job layoff of Indian start-ups. Our data from 30 start-ups reveal that they conducted 12,012 layoffs since the COVID-19 pandemic hit India.

India implemented a total lockdown, halting economic activities, starting March 25, 2020, and it continued till May 31, 2020. Even after that lockdown restrictions were lifted gradually in phases, at a monthly cadence (currently in Unlock 4.0). Since April-June were the worst hit months, the trend shows most layoffs in the same months.

Let’s break it down by Industries or Business Sectors to see the hardest hit ones

  • Construction: -50.3%
  • Hotels and Transportation: -47%
  • Manufacturing: -39.3%
  • Mining and Quarrying: -23.3%,
  • Finance, Real estate, and Business Services: -5.3%
  • Utilities: -7%

Among Startups, Food, Retail, and Transportation are major hit industries because of Social Distancing, Lockdown, and Weak Demand. These are the sectors that create the maximum number of organized and unorganized employment.

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