Data | Who are the most vulnerable to the lockdown among urban dwellers

Close to 3.8 lakh migrant workers in urban areas were in the 60+ age group that has the highest COVID-19 fatality rate

Updated - March 26, 2020 10:50 pm IST

Published - March 26, 2020 10:43 pm IST

Migrant labourers from Bengal are stuck in shanties in New Delhi’s Vishwas Nagar for nearly a week since the Janta Curfew was announced.

Migrant labourers from Bengal are stuck in shanties in New Delhi’s Vishwas Nagar for nearly a week since the Janta Curfew was announced.

The COVID-19-related lockdown may have an immediate impact on close to 2.5 crore people in vulnerable jobs across India, an estimate from the latest Period Labour Force Survey suggests. Census figures on internal migration reveal a significant number of migrant workers among those vulnerable.

No work no pay

The table shows the estimated number of urban workers in vulnerable jobs across India. These include helpers in a household enterprise (who do not receive a regular salary) and casual labourers (who receive daily wages). The number only includes those who were in the bottom 50% of the wealth pyramid in 2017-18 (calculated based on their monthly per capita expenditure.

Urban workers in vulnerable jobs in India

image/svg+xmlHousehold enterprises ashelpers34,63,050Public works other than MGNREGAas casual labourers2,20,351Other places as casual labourers1,12,70,348Total1,49,53,750Working in:Estimated workers
 

Steady pay, yet unsecured

Of the nearly 1.78 crore urban dwellers, who were part of the bottom 50% of the wealth pyramid and worked in regular/salaried jobs, more than 52% do not get paid leave. These people (close to 94 lakh) will be among those severely affected by the lockdown. Data only include those working in non-agricultural sectors in urban areas.

Workers without any benefits

image/svg+xmlWorkers% shareTotal workersNot eligible for paid leave52.894,25,207With no security benefit*47.785,14,817With no written contract72.41,29,23,958*PF/ pension, gratuity, health care and maternity benefit
 

Also read: Beware of a lopsided lockdown

Migrant workers

Close to 81 lakh migrant workers in urban areas who were either illiterate or had studied upto 12th grade could be among those with vulnerable jobs. Many of them have been stranded due to train cancellations and sealing of borders. Close to 3.8 lakh were in the 60+ age group that has the highest COVID-19 fatality rate.

Elderly migrant workers

image/svg+xmlLast place of residenceAll ages60+A rural place within a State30,07,9951,59,167Urban place within a State19,01,1571,30,348A rural place outside a State23,90,63051,792Urban place outside a State8,56,37637,803Total81,56,1583,79,110
 

State-wise vulnerable migrants

Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu host most such migrants.

State-wise split

image/svg+xml1,00010,0001,00,000Number of such migrantsNumber of such migrants aged 60+10,00,0001,00,00050,00020,00010,0005,0002,0001,000500200100MaharashtraT.N.States with mostsuch migrantsA.P.GujaratManipurAssam

Also read: ₹1.7 lakh cr. package with doubled food rations, cash transfers for poor

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