Migrants Workers, Who Returned to Cities Earned five-fold : Study

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What is the News?

 Yale University tracked 5,000 migrants workers across north and central India from April 2020 to February 2021. Recently, it released the findings of the survey.

The survey was conducted over the phone by researchers from Yale and the Inclusion Economics India Centre. Bihar and Chhattisgarh are “source states”.

What are the key findings of the survey?
  • Migrant workers who returned to cities for work after the first Covid-19 lockdown earned roughly five times as much as those who stayed back.
  • The first Covid-19 induced lockdown affected women migrants, more than men.
  • After the first lockdown, only 45% of female migrants returned to their urban workplaces. However, 40% of them earned no income across a week in which they were tracked in February 2021.
    • In comparison, 55% of men returned to their workplaces and only a quarter of them had no income across the same week in February 2021.
  • Male migrant workers who returned to urban areas after the first lockdown for work earned up to 90% of their pre-pandemic earnings. But the women earned up to 72% of their pre-pandemic income.
    • While, female migrant workers who did not return to urban areas earned only 23% of their pre-pandemic income. Whereas female migrant workers earned just 13%.
  • Further, more than 40% of those who stayed home were still concerned about running out of food after the harvest season. More than 20% of them said they were eating less than normal.
Conclusion of the survey:
  • The survey has found that those migrant workers who remained at home in rural areas after the first lockdown were more likely to report being unemployed. It reduced their food consumption, mortgaging or selling assets, spending down savings, and taking loans to make ends meet.
  • Hence, it has urged policymakers to make efforts to retain workers in urban areas. It has also asked them to focus more on women by providing economic support through employers and rations.

Source: Indian Express


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