The unemployment rate in the country declined to 6.52 per cent in March from 6.90 per cent in February, as per think-tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).
While unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 7.24 per cent in March, it was at 6.19 per cent in rural areas, as per CMIE's data. The corresponding numbers stood at 6.99 per cent and 6.86 per cent, respectively, in February.
After rising sharply to 9.06 per cent in December last year from 6.50 per cent in November, the unemployment rate had fallen to 6.53 per cent in January 2021.
Among the states, unemployment rate was higher in states like Haryana (28.1 per cent), Goa (22.1 per cent) and Rajasthan (19.7 per cent) in March. Assam (1.1 per cent), Karnataka (1.2 per cent) and Meghalaya (1.3 per cent) were among the states with lower unemployment rate, the data showed.
The unemployment rate in India had shot up to 23.52 per cent in April 2020, when a nationwide lockdown was in force to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections. However, with gradual relaxations in lockdown, it fell to 21.73 per cent in May last year and 10.18 per cent in June.
With India seeing a second wave of COVID-19 cases, restrictions and night curfews are back in some of the states. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had last week warned of another lockdown and asked officials to prepare a plan for implementation of a lockdown with minimum impact on the economy.
However, CMIE had recently called for increasing the pace of vaccination and maintaining social distance over imposing another lockdown, which hits the economy and costs jobs. The livelihood cost of a lockdown is too high, it had said, adding that the average household incomes fell by 9.2 per cent in March 2020 and by 27.9 per cent in April 2020 as a result of the lockdown.
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