Using online job portals to track the real-time impacts of COVID-19 in India

  • A real-time assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy (and labour markets in particular) has been an important policy challenge, especially in low-income countries like India.
  • We leverage real-time, high-frequency data on over 300,000 job postings from Shine.com, India’s second largest online job portal, to investigate the impact of lockdowns on the labour market between March-May 2020.
  • We find that total job postings declined by 60% by May 2020 (as compared to the pre-COVID levels), particularly in female-dominated occupations (more than 80%).
  • Low-skilled workers and inexperienced young jobseekers looking to work in entry-level jobs were severely affected. Minimum experience and education required for a job increased and fraction of entry-level jobs fell by 40%.
  • We highlight how online platforms (like Shine.com) can provide rich, real-time data that can help policymakers assess the impact of economic shocks and formulate appropriate policies responses to protect the most vulnerable groups.