Like the rest of the countries, if not all, Bangladesh has been struggling to cope with the crisis emerged by the COVID-19. Regardless of the level of infections and casualties in the country, at this point, the continuation of the pandemic has been profoundly affecting our economy. Moreover, we have observed its substantial negative impact precisely on the job market. People have been experiencing financial shocks, both tangible and otherwise, and marginalized groups are, to some extent, going into starvation. There are many indicators, such as-job loss, laid off workers, income drops etc., which have helped us illustrate a clear picture of our current situation. It is quite certain that this pandemic has correlation with the career of many, which can be assumed through analyzing the impact of COVID-19 on different sectors and people.
Almost all the sectors have been hit hard by the COVID-19, while the informal sector being the most asphyxiated within its limited access and resources. Consequently, the formal sector has been severely affected. The pandemic has also ravaged the two of the three main pillars of the economy, for example, the Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industry, and remittances. Also, experts have expressed their deepening worries that the sufferings of the poor will reach at an unprecedented level. Furthermore, a good number of lower to middle class people may displace from their current class structure and turn into new poor. People engaged with low income or labor-intensive jobs have felt an urge to leave the city as they have become unable to earn as much as they used to before. Though government and other bodies have taken several initiatives, both pragmatic and otherwise, but the announced stimulus packages and other safety net programs couldn’t reach at these affected people.
Although, we have another side to look into. Currently we have observed some critical developments, coupled with plausible initiatives taken by the government and multilateral bodies and donors, which have swerved the situation into a positive side. There have been hardly a few sectors and industries that are unaffected or less affected so far. For example, pharmaceuticals, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and e-Commerce, healthcare, agro-food, and creative media have been unaffected; on top of that, these sectors and industries have garnered, to some extent, business growth and job opportunities amidst COVID-19. Emphasizing on these sectors may meet the domestic demand as well as can create a significant number of employment opportunities for the people who have been hit the hardest by the current pandemic. In addition, fast-moving consumer goods, commodity-based business, internet service provider, electronics and gadgets seller, and telecommunication have not only navigated the pandemic well, but also, offer business prospects. Given this context, it can be said, that new employment opportunities may also be created and accelerated in the coming months, if not immediately.
However, experts have also recommended to focus on reskilling and upskilling workers to adapt with the situation. The suggestion also emphasizes on virtual education and distance learning which can be a time-befitting step. Career of many has been experiencing a bad phase, but it is hoped and believed that youth will continue to put their effort and hard work to adapt with this new normal situation and innovate a way out soon through using their enthusiasm and energy.