Amid raging coronavirus situation in the country with each passing day and lockdowns in most Indian states being extended over and over again, the urban unemployment rate in the country has touched an over 10-month high of close to 12 percent.
As per the CMIE or Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy data, in the week ending May 9, the urban employment hit 11.72 percent, up from 9.55 percent hit 15-days ago in the week ending April 25. For the April month, unemployment figure came in at 9.78 percent.
At the national level too, there has been reported a spike in unemployment from 7.4 percent in April 25 to 8.67% in the week ended May 9. Further, during the period under review, rural employment also jumped from 6.37% to 7.29%.
In a scenario if lockdown situation continues to persist in the different Indian states, economists expect unemployment rate to further worsen in the upcoming weeks. The localized lockdowns are said to have particularly weighed on the employment in the unorganized sector, excluding some essential services.
Notably as per CMIE data, during the same period last year, the national unemployment rate was almost 24% in the week ended May 10, 2020, and the urban unemployment last year during the same period was 27.83%.
KR Shyam Sundar, a labour economist, is cited in leading dailies report which said that 2020 was worse because of the national lockdown and closure of all economic activities, but a 12% unemployment rate without a national lockdown is worrisome.