Jobs market back on track: Hinterland cuts unemployment rate to pre-corona level; MGNREGA shoots up

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Published: June 24, 2020 11:49 AM

The unemployment rate of India fell back to the pre-corona level at 8.48 per cent in the week ended June 21, 2020.

jobs, job market, unemployment rate, employment, MGNREGAThe rural economy has seen a substantial increase in jobs, mostly through MGNREGA and due to a sharp increase in kharif sowing this year.

As India gradually exits the nationwide lockdown, the workforce which was uprooted from the labour market has returned in full force. The unemployment rate of India fell back to the pre-corona level at 8.48 per cent in the week ended June 21, 2020, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). The unemployment rate in March 2020 was 8.75 per cent, which swelled up to 23.5 per cent in April and May. While the urban unemployment rate has fallen steeply to 11.2 per cent, it is still above the pre-lockdown levels. But, the rural economy has seen a substantial increase in jobs, mostly through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) and due to a sharp increase in kharif sowing this year.

The rural unemployment rate dropped to 7.26 per cent in the week ended June 21 and is lower than the pre-lockdown week ended March 22 when the rate was 8.3 per cent. Jobs created under the MGNREGA scheme has played a significant role in uplifting the rural employment. The person-days of jobs created in May 2020 shot up to 56.5 crore, which was 53 per cent higher than the 37 crore person-days of jobs created under the scheme in May 2019, CMIE said.

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The nationwide lockdown driven by the coronavirus pandemic had led to a bloodbath in the job market since April 2020. However, the centre and many states have tweaked the labour laws to support employment and businesses.

While Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government formed a labour commission and provided lakhs of jobs to the migrant workers, other states have also come up with their policies aimed at supporting the workers who lost their source of income due to the pandemic. In the latest move towards providing employment to the migrant labourers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently launched the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan, which is a Rs 50,000 crore dedicated campaign of 125 days to create jobs for millions of migrant workers who returned home during the lockdown.

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