India’s unemployment rate rises to nine-week high of 9.1%

 Since then the rural unemployment rate has been on the rise to stand at 8.37% for the week ended August 9 and further to 8.86% in the week ended August 16.Compared with a week earlier, the employment rate and labour participating rate (LPR) also increased to 38.4% and 42.2% from 37.09% and 40.62%, respectively, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) said.“There is a big increase in rural India in both employment and unemployment rates. This reflects increased agricultural activities,” CMIE’s managing director and CEO Mahesh Vyas said.Buoyed by hectic sowing activity and jobs offered under rural employment guarantee scheme, MG-NREGS, the unemployment rate in rural India steadily plummeted to 6.34% for the week ended July 12 from 17.92% for the week ended May 31, but it again headed north to 7.10% for the week ended July 19 and further to 7.66% in the very next week; but fell to 6.47% in the week ended August 2.In urban India, the unemployment rate has been steadily decelerating from 25.14% for the week ended May 31 to 8.73% for the week ended August 2; but since then the graph is on the rise to 9.31% for the week ended August 9 and further to 9.61% for the week ended August 16.India’s unemployment rate was a tad higher at 24.3% for the week ended May 24 compared to 24% in the preceding week or the average unemployment rate of 24.2% in the past eight weeks of the lockdown. The unemployment rate stood at 8.8% in March.“A combined factor of demand and supply, lack of opportunities in rural India, crop seasons coming to an end will increase the unemployment scenario in the short to medium term. The micro-lockdowns imposed by stated to curb the spread of covid-19 are having their impact as well,” said K.R. Shyam Sundar, a labour economist and professor at XLRI Jamshedpur.“The economic adjustments via scheme jobs like national employment guarantee scheme will not be able to solve employment problems. Because works provided through those schemes has a wage and skill mismatch for many workers who had returned,” explained Sundar.

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