India's unemployment rate increased to 6.9 per cent in February 2021 from 6.53 per cent in the previous month, according to latest data released by private think-tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). The data showed that unemployment rate in urban areas declined despite a rise in joblessness rate on a national level. The rural areas, however, saw surge in unemployment during the month under review. The urban unemployment rate dropped to 6.99 in February from 8.08 in January 2021, while rural unemployment rate rose to 6.86 per cent from 5.83 per cent in the previous month.
Among the states, Haryana reported highest unemployment rate of 26.4 per cent, followed by Rajasthan at 25.6 per cent and Goa at 21.1 per cent. Assam has the lowest unemployment rate of 1.6 per cent, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 2.1.
The 30-day moving average of unemployment rate was 7 per cent as of February 28, 2021, CMIE data showed.
The unemployment rate has been volatile in the past six months as it has ranged from a low of 6.5 per cent in November 2020 to a high of 9.1 per cent in December 2020. The average unemployment rate during this six-month period was somewhat high at about 7.4 per cent. The high monthly volatility of unemployment in normal times reflects the high proportion of informal employment in India.
As per CMIE data, the unemployment rate declined to 6.5 per cent in January 2021 from 9.1 per cent in December 2020, while the employment rate surged to 37.9 per cent as compared to 36.9 per cent. Nearly 12 million additional people were employed during January at 400.7 million as compared to 388.8 million in December 2020, which was the highest since lockdown began in March 2020.