The number of salaried people losing their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic has surged to 18.9 million since April, with around 5 million jobs lost last month, according to data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).

The loss of around 5 million jobs in July comes after around 3.9 million jobs were gained in June, as per the data. In April, 17.7 million salaried jobs were lost, followed by 100,000 job losses of salaried employees in May.

"While salaried jobs are not lost easily, once lost, they are also far more difficult to retrieve. Therefore, their ballooning numbers are a source of worry," the centre's CEO Mahesh Vyas said.

"Salaried jobs were nearly 19 million (190 lakh) short of their average in 2019-20. They were 22 per cent lower than their level in the last fiscal year," he added.

The latest CMIE data also showed that around 6.8 million daily wage earners lost their jobs during this period. However, around 14.9 million people took to farming during this period.

Since the lockdown was announced, several companies across sectors have taken to job cuts, along with salary reductions and leave without pay.

Industry bodies and several economists have called for government support to industry to avoid mass job losses and for the companies to survive the onslaught of the pandemic.

SBI Research has projected gross domestic product (GDP) contraction at 16.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2020-21, against a 30 per cent decline estimated earlier.