New Delhi: The COVID-19 pandemic hit India with a major employment crisis leaving many either jobless or finding it extremely difficult to find a job. Now, a study reveals that the country’s unemployment rate soared to 7.14 per cent in the week ending July 25, compared to a 5.98 per cent rise in the previous week (ending July 18).
Data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) on Monday showed that rural unemployment took a sharp upward turn to 6.75 per cent from 5.1 per cent.
In urban India, where economic activities have largely opened up, the rate of unemployment continues to stay higher than the national and rural average. For the week ended on July 25, the joblessness rate climbed marginally to 8.01 per cent from 7.94 per cent in the week-ago period.
To be sure, the unemployment scenario in July is relatively better than the previous three months when India was battling the second wave of the pandemic. Since the beginning of July, the unemployment rate in urban India stayed below 9 per cent while at the national level, it remained under 8 per cent.
In June, the monthly unemployment rate was 9.17 per cent at the national level, 10.07 per cent in urban India, and 8.75 per cent in rural India. The progress of monsoon and opening of economic activities both in the formal and informal sector contributed to a comparatively better situation in July.
However, a 7 per cent to 8 per cent unemployment rate in an Indian labour market is high and shows the struggle in the job market.
During the second wave of the COVID-19, Indians lost some 23 million jobs both in formal and informal sectors during April and May 2021. June saw some rebound in work, especially in the informal workspace.
According to CMIE data released earlier this month, June saw the return of almost eight million jobs. The government, however, does not use CMIE data and nor does it has any fresh data to show the current ground situation.
Telangana’s unemployment rate stands at 4.8 per cent and Andhra Pradesh’s stands at 7.5 per cent. Meanwhile, Haryana tops the list with the highest percentage at 27.9 per cent and Sikkim with no unemployment recorded.
In any jobs survey, people with jobs are categorized as employed. People without jobs but looking for work are considered unemployed.