As the second wave of COVID-19 rampages through India, economic activity has taken a huge hit with unemployment rate inching up and job loss figures touching the 7 million mark in just one month.

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Unemployment increased to 7.97% from 6.5% in March, with more than seven million jobs lost last month, reports Bloomberg quoting data from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt., a private research firm.

"There is a fall in the jobs available. This could be due to the lockdowns," CMIE Managing Director Mahesh Vyas told the agency. And going by the severity of the wave and lockdowns and restrictions announced by several state governments, the job market is unlikely to look up any time soon.

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The second, more aggressive, highly-infectious COVID-19 wave that hit India in March has hugely burdened the healthcare system. Unable to cope with the crisis, many states announced lockdowns dealing a crippling blow to the economy.

A survey by IHS Markit shows the manufacturing sector was still losing jobs in April, though the rate of contraction was the weakest in the current 13-month sequence of job shedding. The CMIE data show joblessness is more acute in urban areas as labourers return to their villages, the agency adds.

With manufacturing slowing down as consumer demand drops, job generation projects look bleak at the moment.

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