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Business trends

Labor shortage hits India Inc. as migrant workers stay away

Autos and construction most affected by coronavirus exodus to home villages

India's construction industry is one of the major businesses that face labor shortages caused by the massive exodus of skilled workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.   © Reuters

MUMBAI -- Dinesh Goud's beauty salon in Hyderabad's tony Banjara Hills neighborhood is operating at just 20% capacity, not for a lack of customers but because most of his hairdressers have gone back north to their villages in India's Uttar Pradesh state.

Goud had tried hard to keep his workers at the 2,000-sq.-foot (190-sq.-meter) outlet. "I provided all essential food supplies to my staff, and I even made sure I paid their rent and light bills," Goud said. He also provided accommodations for five of his workers in a two-bedroom apartment in suburban Hyderabad, in the southern state of Telangana. However, his staff "chose to go back [home], and it will be quite some time before they are back."

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