Diamond Industry Fright Job Losses as China Slows

Published By : 09 Sep 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

About one year ago, the diamond capital of India hit headlines when one of the largest polishing companies in Surat treated its employees with bonuses in the form of apartments, jewellery, and Fiat cars.

However, there is no sign of repeat bonanza in the city, which according to some estimates is the center for 80% of diamond polishing in the world.

Since June, over 5,000 polishers in Surat have lost jobs and thousands are anticipated to lose jobs. This is directly related with pulling back of Chinese consumers from luxury purchases, which leaves jewelers with stocks of unsold gems and jewellery. Polishers are alleging that Chinese jewelers have defaulted on agreements worth millions of dollars.

Due to this, in the city, almost half a dozen big diamond companies have shut down – a significant blow for the industry employing nearly a million people in India, of which two-thirds are from Surat.

For the Indian government, jobs are critically important, which is struggling to revive the economic growth in order to create employment for millions of people that are joining the workforce each year.

In this coastal city, there are people who have spent 25 years cutting gems, where streets are skirted with workshops of various sizes, which are bustling with craftsmen crowded in the light of desk gems, in convert rough diamonds into dazzling gems. People like these have lost jobs in June.

These people are ready to work at even half wages than what they were earning at their previous jobs. To sustain the crisis, craftsmen are sending back families home, to be able to save some money.

The distress in the warren polishing houses in Surat hits at a time when the entire state of Gujarat is undergoing unrest.

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