India's unemployment rate for February highest in two years: CMIE


  • The unemployment scenario in India turns bleak, with the rate rising to 7.2% in February 2019, compared to 5.9% in 2018 during the same period.
  • The country has 400 million employed professionals, as of February 2019, while it was 406 million last year in February.
  • Nearly 11 million people were hit by job losses in 2018 — rural India accounting for over 85% job loss in the country.
While the Indian government is stepping up efforts to curb unemployment, a new report has revealed worrying numbers on the unemployment rate in India.

According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the unemployment rate in India increased to 7.2% in February 2019, compared to 5.9% last year in February. It was the highest since September 2016.

The number of employed professionals were recorded to be 400 million in 2019, compared to 406 million last year during the same time period, Mahesh Vyas, head of CMIE, told Reuters.

The downward projection is regardless of the narrowing figures in terms of job seekers and labour participation in the country, he added citing an estimated fall in the labour participation rate.

The figures drawn in the CMIE report are an outcome of tens of thousands of households across India.

The bleak scenario of unemployment will be a setback for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, considering the upcoming general elections.

However, Modi has not been relying on unemployment surveys calling them ‘skewed,’ as some of them exclude the employment in unorganised sector, which makes up for the vast majority of jobs in the country.

The government recently played down a leaked official jobs survey that said India’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.1% in 2018, the highest in 45 years, according to reports.

As per an analysis report by CMIE released in January this year, demonetisation has had a great impact on unemployment in India. Nearly 11 million people were hit by job loss in 2018 owing to the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) schemes introduced in 2017 — with over 85% job loss from rural India.

See also:
Unemployment in India is at its highest in 45 years – says an Indian daily citing an undisclosed jobs survey

Global unemployment rate is lowest since 2008 financial crisis

In India, employees are prioritising ‘remote work policy’ while taking up a job — and will even take a pay cut
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