Jobless rate rises again; more people to remain unemployed than pre-COVID level: CMIE

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Published: July 8, 2020 10:18 AM

Unemployment rate in India has gone up again and has touched 8.87% in the week ended July 5 from a lower rate a week ago.

While the unemployment rate is higher than pre-COVID level, there is still some relief as in May. (File pic PTI)

Unemployment rate in India has gone up again and has touched 8.87% in the week ended July 5 from a lower rate a week ago. Among the worst hit areas in joblessness are urban areas as the urban unemployment rate has risen to 11.26% from 10.69% a week earlier. On the other hand, rural unemployment stands at 7.78% from 7.62%, according to the data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), The Indian Express reported. It is likely that the unemployment rate in the country will settle at slightly higher levels than during the pre-COVID levels, the business think-tank said. In June, Haryana, Tripura, Kerala, Jharkhand were among the worst hit states with the highest unemployment rates in the country.

“The data so far therefore seems to suggest that the worst is over and we are likely to settle at an unemployment rate which would be only slightly higher than the rates witnessed before the lockdown,” CMIE said. 

While the unemployment rate is higher than pre-COVID level, there is still some relief as in May, joblessness had risen to 23.5% as the country remained in one of the strictest lockdowns in the world in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Since May, the unemployment rate fell to 11% in June as the government started to ease lockdown in a staged manner. Along with a recovery in unemployment rates, the labour participation levels also rose from 38.2% to 40.3%.

“The unemployment rate during the weeks of June 28 and July 5 were 8.6% and 8.9%, respectively. While the worst of April and May is over, it may be equally likely that the period of rapid recovery seen in June is also over,” CMIE said. Meanwhile, the recovery in labour participation has too recorded a slowdown. After witnessing a sharp uptick in May, the recovery in June was slower. The estimated employment in June was 374 million, which is nearly 30 million below the average of 404 million employment in 2019-20. However, this gap contracted a little more in the first week of July.

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