The urban and rural unemployment rose to 9.83 per cent and 7.65 per cent, respectively, in August as the formal sector shied away from hiring amid COVID-19 pandemic and jobs in rural areas remained stagnant. The overall unemployment also jumped to 8.35 per cent, as against 7.43 per cent in July, according to monthly unemployment data by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) released on Tuesday, September 1.
Both urban and rural unemployment stood at 9.15 per cent and 6.66 per cent, respectively, in July.
The August unemployment numbers were slightly lower than the ones in the month of March (when first lockdown was imposed) when overall unemployment stood at 8.75 per cent, while urban and rural unemployment was at 9.41 per cent and 8.44 per cent, respectively.
Unemployment in August was far higher than in pre-COVID-19 lockdown months of January and February when it stood at 7.76 per cent and 7.22 per cent, respectively.
The overall unemployment, however, saw a major decline last month compared to April when it stood at 23.52 per cent, including 24.95 per cent in urban areas and 22.89 per cent in rural areas.
Haryana was the worst-hit state with 33.5 per cent unemployment rate in August, followed by Tripura at 27.9 per cent and Rajasthan at 17.5 per cent.
Karnataka reported the lowest unemployment rate at 0.5 per cent, followed by Odisha (1.4 per cent) and Gujarat (1.9 per cent), the CMIE data showed.
Experts believe the rise in unemployment in August is worrisome as it has risen at a time when the Centre has allowed most economic activities to resume after stringent lockdowns.
According to Mahesh Vyas, Managing Director of CMIE, the unemployment data for August suggests "fatigue in the labour market" that has resulted in slow recovery. He added the September data could give a clearer picture of recovery in the job market.
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