The unemployment rate in urban areas dropped to 8.4 per cent in July-September quarter of 2019, compared to 9.7 per cent in the same period in 2018 and 8.9 per cent in April-June 2019, as per the data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI). The drop in the unemployment rate was more the result of rise in people participating in labor force.
The labor force participation rate in urban areas increased by 0.6 percentage point to 36.8 per cent in September quarter of 2019 as against 36.1 per cent in the year ago period and 36.2 per cent in the June quarter of 2019, the quarterly Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data from MoSPI showed.
The labour force participation rate is a measure of the percentage of a country's population that engages in the labour market. A high labour participation rate along with a low unemployment rate is a positive sign of a growing job market.
The MoSPI data showed that that urban unemployment rate was higher than the national average of 8.4 per cent in Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
Age wise, the urban unemployment rate was higher in the age group of 15-29 years. It stood at 20.6 per cent in July-September 2019 compared to 21.6 per cent in the previous quarter and 23.1 per cent in the same period in 2018. The urban unemployment rate was least in age below 15 years at 8.3 per cent.
Sex wise, the urban unemployment rate for males was at 8 per cent as against 9.7 per cent for female.
To measure the dynamics in labour force participation and employment status in the short time interval of three months, for the urban areas only, central government releases a quarterly bulletin. The sample size for July-September quarter survey was 1.76 lakh people and 44,471 households.
Recently, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) data showed that India's overall unemployment rate declined to 18-months low of 6.67 per cent in September 2020 from 8.35 per cent a month ago in August. Besides, the employment rate also scaled up to its highest level since lockdown to almost 38 per cent from 37.5 per cent in August.
The CMIE data also revealed that over 121 million salaried jobs were lost in April due to coronavirus lockdown. The recovery in most of the jobs was seen by August, but the condition of some professions deteriorated over time, it said.