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India's urban unemployment rate jumped to 12.6% in April-June 2021 amid second wave

The rise in urban unemployment in April-Jun 2021 was the first such increase in four quarters

March 14, 2022 / 03:46 PM IST
(Representative image: Shutterstock)

(Representative image: Shutterstock)

India's urban unemployment rate jumped to 12.6 percent in April-June 2021 from 9.3 percent in the previous quarter, a report released on March 14 by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation shows.

The urban unemployment rate for persons aged 15 and above was 10.3 percent in October-December 2020 and 13.2 percent in July-September 2020, the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) said.

The rise in unemployment in the second quarter of 2021 was the first such increase since the jobless rate peaked to 20.8 percent in April-June 2020, said the report, the only official data available on India's employment situation.

While April-June 2020 coincided with the national lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus, April-June 2021 saw the second wave that slowed down economic activity as various restrictions were brought back.

"Due to the 2nd wave of COVID-19, the fieldwork of PLFS was suspended from April 19, 2021 in most parts of the country. The fieldwork was gradually resumed in the first week of June 2021 with due adherence to the COVID-19 related restrictions," the latest PLFS report said.
PERIODLabour force participation rateUnemployment rate
Apr-Jun 202045.9%20.8%
Jul-Sep 202047.2%13.2%
Oct-Dec 202047.3%10.3%
Jan-Mar 202147.5%9.3%
Apr-Jun 202146.8%12.6%

The unemployment rate rose in April-June 2021 even as the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) fell to 46.8 percent from 47.5 percent the previous quarter.

The fall in the participation rate was greater for females, with the rise in the unemployment rate being greater for males.
Apr-Jun 202071.7%19.6%20.7%21.1%
Jul-Sep 202073.5%20.3%12.6%15.8%
Oct-Dec 202073.6%20.6%9.5%13.1%
Jan-Mar 202173.5%21.2%8.6%11.8%
Apr-Jun 202173.1%20.1%12.2%14.3%

The statistics ministry's quarterly PLFS report covers urban areas and measures the unemployment rate in terms of Current Weekly Status.

A person is considered unemployed in a week if they don't work even for an hour on any day despite being available for work at least for an hour on any day. The employment status is determined on the basis of a reference period of the last seven days preceding the date of the survey.

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Siddharth Upasani
first published: Mar 14, 2022 03:46 pm
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