As the lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic continues, Indians have been feeling increasingly jittery about their jobs and businesses, with 87 percent of them expecting a fall in household incomes over the next year, according to a survey.
The survey, conducted by social media firm LocalCircles, received 17,000 responses from over 150 districts. The firm ran a two-poll survey to gauge the mood of the consumer in the current scenario, and the expected changes in income over the next one year.
To the question ‘How do they believe COVID-19 will impact their household income in the next 12 months’ only two percent respondents said they believed their income would rise in the next 12 months; 11 percent said that coronavirus would have no impact on their income.
“This means that 87 percent citizens believe their income in this financial year will reduce in comparison to the last 12 months,” LocalCircles Chairman and CEO Sachin Taparia said.
In the survey, 26 percent respondents said they believed their earnings would reduce by 50 percent or more while 25 percent said it will reduce by 25-50 percent. Of the respondents, 12 percent were of the opinion that earnings would reduce by up to 25 percent while 24 percent said it would definitely reduce but they were unsure by how much.
Despite the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeals to employers to not lay off people amid the coronavirus crisis, several people have lost their jobs across sectors, including the Indian startup ecosystem.
Indian startups that have laid off employees include Bounce, Drivezy, Udaan, and Oyo. Several others have introduced salary cuts to stay afloat in a difficult and unprecedented business environment.
“Even developed countries are struggling with an excruciating rate of unemployment. According to the latest statistics, around 22 million Americans have sought jobless benefits in just the past month,” Sachin said.
In a LocalCircles poll conducted in early March when the first 10 COVID-19 cases were reported, only 28 percent citizens said that they expect their household earnings to reduce in the next 12 months. In less than 45 days that percentage had shot up to 87 percent, Sachin pointed out.
The Indian economy was going through its worst slowdown in a decade before the coronavirus crisis hit.
According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), India’s economic growth rate will slip to 4 percent in the current fiscal on account of the global health emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic. That is still a more optimistic estimate compared to most other predictions, which range from rating agency S&P’s 3.5 percent to ICRA Research’s 2 percent growth forecast. India’s economic growth for 2019-20 has been estimated at 5 percent by the National Statistics Office (NSO).
To the other question asked in the survey- ‘what is making them feel stressed during this time of coronavirus lockdown’, 31 percent said job, business or finances, while 11 percent said procuring essential supplies for the household. Among the respondents, 26 percent said the negative news coming in from everywhere was giving them stress while 24 percent said the fear of getting infected was making them stressed.
“Results of the survey show that Indians have more things to worry about and the fear of getting infected is not the biggest reason for their stress. Running the house, having a job, and maintaining their business turns out to be the major reasons for stress for Indians,” Sachin said.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)
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