Coronavirus Lockdown: India's unemployment rate soars to 27.11% for week ended 3 May, says CMIE

The COVID-19 crisis has led to a spike in the country's unemployment rate to 27.11 percent for the week ended 3 May, up from the under 7 percent level before the start of the pandemic in mid-March, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has said

Press Trust of India May 05, 2020 18:55:27 IST
Coronavirus Lockdown: India's unemployment rate soars to 27.11% for week ended 3 May, says CMIE

Mumbai: The COVID-19 crisis has led to a spike in the country's unemployment rate to 27.11 percent for the week ended 3 May, up from the under 7 percent level before the start of the pandemic in mid-March, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has said.

The Mumbai-based think tank said the rate of unemployment was the highest in the urban areas, which constitute the most number of the red zones due to the COVID-19 cases, at 29.22 percent, as against 26.69 percent for the rural areas.

Analysts have been warning about the spectre of unemployment ever since the country was put under a lockdown on 25 March by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrest the spread of the virus infections.

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File image of a protest for jobs in India. AFP

Scenes of migrants fleeing urban centres like Delhi and Mumbai only confirmed the long-held concerns on their employment as the economic activity came to a grinding halt.

The government has so far announced income and food support to the vulnerable people as part of a Rs 1.70 lakh crore fiscal stimulus to the economic, financial and possibly humanitarian crisis, and is also mulling a second round of measures soon.

The US has seen a huge spike in unemployment as over 26 million people have claimed for state support because of losing their jobs. Experts often rue the absence of a good gauge of jobs in India, which is predominantly an unorganised-sector led economy.

CMIE's weekly series of data pointed to a steady increase in unemployment since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, with the week to 29 March showing the sharpest spike to 23.81 percent.

As per CMIE's data, the monthly unemployment rate in April stood at 23.52 percent, up from March's 8.74 percent.

As of the end of April, Puducherry in South India had the highest number of unemployment at 75.8 percent, followed by neighbouring Tamil Nadu 49.8 percent, Jharkhand 47.1 percent and Bihar 46.6 percent.

Maharashtra's unemployment rate was pegged at 20.9 percent by the CMIE, while the same for Haryana stood at 43.2 percent, Uttar Pradesh at 21.5 percent and Karnataka at 29.8 pe cent.

Hilly states had the lowest incidence of unemployment as of April, the think tank said, pointing out that the rate in Himachal Pradesh stood at 2.2 percent, Sikkim at 2.3 percent and Uttarakhand at 6.5 percent.

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