After over five weeks of coronavirus lockdown, India's unemployment rate shot up 14.8% to reach 23.5% in the month of April, much higher than 8.7% reported in the previous month, according to data released by think-tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) on Friday. The CMIE survey was started in 2016 and since then the April's unemployment rate of 23.5% is the highest ever. The unemployment rate in urban India stood at 24.95%, while in rural India it was 22.89%. State wise unemployment rate differed widely. Highest unemployment rate of 75.8% was recorded in Puducherry followed by 49.8% in Tamil Nadu 47.1% in Jharkhand 46.6% in Bihar and 43.2% in Haryana.
The lowest unemployment rate of 2.2% was recorded in Himachal Pradesh followed by Sikkim (2.3%), Punjab (2.9%), Chhattisgarh (3.4%), Telangana (6.2%) and Uttrakhand (6.5%).
Meanwhile, during the last week of March and in the first two weeks of April, the unemployment rate hovered around 23-24 per cent. In the first week, it was 23.8 per cent, in the second week it dropped a bit to 23.4 per cent but in the third week it bounced back to 24 per cent. India's unemployment rate rose to 26.2 per cent in the third week of April, according to the CMIE data.
"The national lockdown did not just throw 72 million out of the labour force but it also drove another 85 million to some kind of desperation to look for jobs in the midst of a national lockdown when none were available. This desperation suggests that people were highly vulnerable to a loss of livelihood caused by the national lockdown," Mahesh Vyas, Managing Director and CEO, CMIE, had recently said in a report.
CMIE's survey covers 43,600 households per month to enable estimation of monthly unemployment rate