The overall unemployment rate may have surged to 23 per cent, with urban unemployment standing at nearly 31 per cent, amid the countrywide lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak, Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) estimates showed. The employment situation worsened from the start of March, before the lockdown was triggered, and then soared in the last week of the month and the first week of April 2020, CMIE data showed.
While the overall unemployment rate spiked to 23.4 per cent, the urban unemployment rate soared to 30.9 per cent. "In March 2020, the labour participation rate fell to an all-time low, the unemployment rate shot up sharply and the employment rate fell to its all-time low," Mahesh Vyas, CEO, CMIE, said in an article on the website.
Unemployment, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is when persons above a specified age are not in paid employment or self-employment and currently available for work during the reference period. "The unemployment rate in March was 8.7%. This is the highest unemployment rate in 43 months...The unemployment rate during this last week [of March] was 23.8%. Labour participation rate fell to 39% and the employment rate was a mere 30%," Vyas added.
India's unemployment rate surged to nearly 9 per cent, the highest in the last 43 months, according to CMIE data. The unemployment rate stood at 8.74 per cent in March, highest since August 2016 when demonetisation happened, CMIE data showed. In August 2016, the unemployment rate was 9.59 per cent. While the unemployment rate was recorded at 9.35 per cent in urban areas, it stood at 8.45 per cent in rural parts of the country, the data also showed. In February, it was recorded at 7.78 per cent. Meanwhile, India is under a 21-day lockdown currently until April 14.