India's unemployment rate increased to 7.7 per cent in December, slightly higher than 7.48 per cent reported in the previous month, according to data released by think-tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) on Thursday. In November, the unemployment rate had fallen nearly 1 per cent to 7.48 per cent compared to a three-year high of 8.45 per cent in October 2019.
According to CMIE, the urban unemployment rate rose by a fraction from 8.89 per cent in November to 8.91 per cent in December 2019. The urban unemployment numbers were higher than the national average, reflecting a decline in economic activity in the country. India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has slipped below 5 per cent in the last two quarters as weak demand and slump in investment continue to weigh on the country's economic growth momentum.
In rural India, the uptick in unemployment rate was sharper from 6.82 per cent in November to 7.13 per cent in December.
Six out of India's 10 states with the highest unemployment rate are either ruled by the BJP or it is an alliance partner with regional parties. Tripura, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh witnessed highest unemployment levels of more than 20 per cent, while Karnataka and Assam reported lowest unemployment rate of 0.9 per cent each. Tripura remained the state with highest unemployment rate of 28.6 per cent, followed by Haryana with 27.6 per cent.
Delhi saw its unemployment rate falling sharply to 11.2 per cent in December as compared to November's figure of 16 per cent. The agency noted that the unemployment rate in national capital has hit the lowest level since December 2018.
In December 2019, top 5 states/UTs with highest unemployment rates were Tripura (28.6 per cent), Haryana (27.6 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (20.2 per cent), Jharkhand (17.7 per cent) and Rajasthan (15.9%). Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have unemployment rates of 11.1 per cent and 9.4 per cent, respectively.
The states with the lowest unemployment rate in December were Karnataka (0.9 per cent), Assam (0.9 per cent), Telangana (2.2 per cent), Meghalaya (2.5 per cent) and Sikkim (3.3 per cent). Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat have unemployment rates of 3.9 per cent, 4.7 per cent and 4.4 per cent, respectively.
With data inputs from Mudit Kapoor