As the restrictions on mobility eased, the unemployment rate came further down to 7.3% for the week ended July 4 from 8.72% in the previous week and 9.35% for the week ended June 20, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).
The unemployment rate was 7.4% for the week ended April 25 and 8.16% on April 4. The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hit towards the beginning of April this year. In recent times, the rate of joblessness reached its peak at 14.73% on May 23.
For the week ended July 4, the unemployment rate in both rural and urban areas declined to 6.71% and 8.57%, respectively, from 8.98% and 8.6% over the previous week.
In recent times, the highest rate of unemployment in rural areas was at 14.34% for the week ended May 16. In urban areas, the recent highest was recorded on May 30 at 17.88%.
Following gradual unlocking of the economic activities, the monthly unemployment rate also fell to 9.17% in June from 11.9% in May. The second Covid wave has led to a sudden spike in India’s unemployment rate from 7.97% in April.
CMIE’s MD & CEO Mahesh Vyas, however, in a recent article said, “Employment increased from nearly 375 million in May to 383 million in June 2021 an addition of 7.8 million jobs. This is a substantial expansion, but, it is still a very partial recovery.”
Like in the first wave of Covid-19 lockdowns, the biggest hit in employment in the second wave (April and May 2021) was among the small traders and daily wage labourers. They suffered a loss of 17.2 million jobs during April and May of 2021. Salaried employees lost 3.2 million jobs and business persons lost another 5.7 million. Agriculture absorbed 3.4 million of these losses.
“The 7.8 million jobs that repaired in June 2021 were essentially in urban India and, most were of salaried employees from urban India,” Vyas said.