The unemployment rate among urban youth is the highest among all other groups in the country during the third quarter of 2018. The rising lack of employment opportunities is a cause for concern, according to media reports based on a government survey.
One of the reasons for the rising unemployment rate is that the job seekers between the age group of 20 and 29 opt for higher studies or decide to wait for their desired job in keeping with their educational qualifications.
The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data for 2017-18 and the December quarter released on Friday by the statistics ministry showed that the unemployment rate among the urban youth between the age group of 15 and 29 was at 23.7 percent in the third quarter of 2018, according to Mint.
Joblessness among the youth during the December quarter of 2018 was the highest in Bihar (40.9 percent), followed by Kerala (37 percent) and Odisha (35.7 percent), while it was the lowest in Gujarat (9.6 percent), said the report.
The unemployment rate in the country in FY18 was at 5.3 percent in rural areas and 7.8 percent in urban divisions, resulting in the overall unemployment rate at 6.1 percent, said The Economic Times report citing PLFS of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).
However, the government contended that the data was not comparable with that of the previous years, in effect seeking to refute the previously leaked reports that said they showed the unemployment rate was at a 45-year high, said the report.
The PLFS 2017-18 revealed that the higher unemployment rate shifted to the 20-24 and 25-29 age groups as against the 15-19 age group previously indicating that the former groups prefer to pursue higher studies or wait for the job of their choice, said a report in The Indian Express quoting experts.
The percentage share of unemployed rural males rose to 43.2 percent in the 20-24 age group during 2017-18, from 38 percent in 2004-05 as per the NSSO round of Employment-Unemployment Survey. But in the 15-19 age group, there was a sharp reduction in the percentage share of unemployed males to 23.9 percent in 2017-18, from 35.7 percent in 2004-05, the report said.
The unemployment number comes as another set of data released on Friday showed that the economy grew at 5.8 percent in the January-March period of 2019, its slowest pace in 17 quarters, and falling behind China’s pace for the first time in nearly two years, said a Reuters report.
The 6.1 percent figure matches data earlier leaked to the Business Standard in January this year, that said it was the highest level in at least 45 years.
The paper’s report was based on an assessment carried out by the NSSO between July 2017 and June 2018.
There has not been any detailed official data on unemployment for several years, and on Friday the government declined to provide comparable numbers for the jobless rate.
“It’s a new design, new metric,” chief statistician Pravin Srivastava told reporters. He did not elaborate further.
“It would be unfair to compare it with the past," he said.
— With inputs from Reuters
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Updated Date: Jun 03, 2019 12:45:42 IST