Even as India fights the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, India's unemployment rate surged to nearly 9 per cent, highest in the last 43 months, according to data released by think-tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). 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 showed. In February, it was recorded at 7.78 per cent.
The unemployment rate largely remained under 8 per cent from April 2019 till February 2020, except in July and October when it surpassed the 8 per cent mark.
Unemployment rate in states
Tripura was the state with the highest unemployment rate for March at 29.9 per cent, according to CMIE's monthly time series. Puducherry with 1.2 per cent was the state with the lowest unemployment rate.
The labour participation rate fell to 41.9 per cent in March, lowest since January 2016 (when CMIE started with this survey). The employment rate also fell to its worst of 38.24 per cent (lowest since CMIE began the survey). The number of unemployed people who were actively looking for a job was reported at 3.79 crore. This is the highest since October 2016, when 3.85 crore unemployed people were actively looking for a job. The labour force in India in March 2020 stood at 43.3 crore. Meanwhile, the Consumer Pyramids Household Survey was suspended during the week ended March 29 because of the lockdown.
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