The unemployment rate in India rose to 7.83 per cent in April 2022, higher than 7.60 per cent in March, monthly data published by the Center for Monitoring of Indian Economy (CMIE) showed. Overall, unemployment hurt urban areas more than rural areas in April. Urban unemployment rose to 9.22 per cent in April in comparison to 8.28 per cent in March, while rural unemployment fell to 7.18 per cent in comparison to 7.29 per cent in March.
In the month of April, unemployment was highest in Haryana, followed by Rajasthan and Bihar, CMIE data showed. Jobless rate in Haryana stood at 34.5 per cent, while it was 28.8 percent and 21.1 per cent in Rajasthan and Bihar respectively. While Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Assam saw the lowest unemployment rate which stood at a miniscule 0.2 per cent, 0.6 per cent and 1.2 percent respectively.
This comes as the labour market is showing signs of economic distress, CMIE said last month, as India’s labour force fell by 38 lakhs in the month of March, lowest level in the last eight months. CMIE said millions left the labour markets, they stopped even looking for employment, possibly too disappointed with their failure to get a job and under the belief that there were no jobs available.
The government however refuted the claim and said it would be factually wrong to infer that half of the working age population has lost hope for work. The working age population had dropped out of the labour force as a large proportion was pursuing education or engaged in unpaid activities such as caregiving, it added.
In March, CPI (consumer price index) inflation rose to a 17-month high of 6.95 per cent while the WPI (wholesale price index) inflation rose to a four-month high of 14.55 per cent. With high inflation biting pockets of millions in India, the central bank is now expected to hike interest rates in the June monetary policy meeting.
India faces the daunting challenge of creating jobs that are broad-based, i.e. jobs for youth as well as across sectors, Rumki Majumdar, economist at Deloitte India said. The job quality in the country suffered as a result of the pandemic, Majumdar told FE.com. Read more: India faces ‘daunting challenge’ of creating broad-based jobs; women participation needs to improve: Deloitte