National

Unemployment rate hit 45-year high: report

NEW DELHI, JAN 31 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 1/31/2019 11:42:21 AM IST

India’s unemployment rate hit a 45-year-high of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18, as per the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO’s) periodic labour force survey (PLFS) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

The latest data on unemployment in India, which is yet to come in public domain, is the first comprehensive survey on employment conducted by a government agency after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation move in November 2016.

 The unemployment rate was at its highest level since 1972-73 - a period from when the jobs data is comparable, the news agency quoted as saying. However, NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar was quick to respond saying the report was “not verified” and the “veracity of the data is not known”.  

The report further said unemployment was higher in urban areas (7.8%) as compared to 5.3% in rural areas of the country, as mentioned in a report in Business Standard. The unemployment rate among youth reached a record high level in 2017-18 as compared to previous year and ‘much higher compared to that in the overall population,’ the report stated.

“For educated rural females, the unemployment rate ranged between 9.7% to 15.2% between 2004-05 to 2011-12, which rose to 17.3 per cent in 2017-18,” the report said.

 In case of rural educated males, the joblessness rate surged to 10.5 per cent in 2017-18 from 3.5-4.4% between 2004-05 to 2011-12.

For instance, the rate of joblessness among rural males in the age group of 15-29 years jumped more than three folds to 17.4 per cent in 2017-18 versus 5 per cent in 2011-12. In case of female youth in rural areas, unemployment rate stood at 13.6 per cent in 2017-18 as compared to 4.8 per cent in 2011-12.

“The youth is moving away from the agriculture sector as it is becoming less remunerative and moving to urban areas. On the sectoral front, construction sector, which was one of the biggest employers in urban areas, witnessed a major turmoil in the sector,” the news agency quoted Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at Care Ratings as saying.

In a similar trend, the labour force participating rate (LFPR) --the portion of the population working or seeking job -declined from 36.9 per cent in 2017-18 as against 39.5 per cent in 2011-12.

The NSSO report on job data has been at the centre of much controversy after two non-governmental members of the National Statistical Commission (NSC), PC Mohanan and JV Meenakshi, stepped down on Monday amid ‘disagreements’ with the government over the functioning of the commission. “We have resigned from the NSC. Over the months, we have been feeling that we were not been taken seriously and being sidelined by the government. Recent decisions of the NSC were not being implemented,” PC Mohanan told the leading daily.

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