Job­less rate drops as govt lifts curbs

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - BUSINESS - Prashant K Nanda n



NEWDELHI:In­dia’s un­em­ploy­ment rate dropped to 23.97% in the week ended May 10 as the gov­ern­ment lifted some curbs on eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity, in­clud­ing farm­ing, af­ter a month-long lock­down, ac­cord­ing to a pri­vate sur­vey.

The job loss rate was 27.11% in the week ended May 3, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­tre for Mon­i­tor­ing of In­dian Econ­omy (CMIE).

Ru­ral un­em­ploy­ment rate de­clined four per­cent­age points, in­di­cat­ing some farm­ing ac­tiv­ity has re­sumed dur­ing the har­vest sea­son. The ur­ban job­less rate, on the other hand, de­clined more mod­estly, un­der­lin­ing the fact that cities are still strug­gling to re­cover as covid-19 cases con­tinue to rise.

Ur­ban un­em­ploy­ment de­clined to 27.83% in the week to May 10 from 29.22% in the pre­vi­ous week, but the fig­ure is still higher than the na­tional job-loss rate of 23.97% and the ru­ral job loss rate of 22.35%, ac­cord­ing to CMIE.

In­dia’s ma­jor cities re­main in a lock­down as most of them are in so-called red zones, or hotspot dis­tricts. Delhi, Chen­nai, MumKolkata, Hy­der­abad and Bengaluru are wit­ness­ing a re­newed surge in the num­ber of coro­n­avirus cases and may not be able to re­turn to nor­malcy im­me­di­ately, ex­perts said.

“The ur­ban cen­tres are fac­ing a tough time. The job loss and wage loss in cities in both the for­mal and in­for­mal seg­ments is negat­ing what­ever lit­tle ac­tiv­ity is tak­ing place in ur­ban cen­tres and in­dus­trial clus­ters. It will take time for re­vival,” said KR Shyam­sun­dar, a labour econ­o­mist and pro­fes­sor at XLRI Jamshed­pur.

The ru­ral econ­omy, which ac­counts for a lion’s share of the work­force, also saw a fall in the un­em­ploy­ment rate to 22.35% in the week to May 10 from 26.16% in the pre­vi­ous week, ac­cord­ing to CMIE data.

Econ­o­mists, how­ever, be­lieve the ru­ral un­em­ploy­ment rate may in­crease as mil­lions of mi­grants stranded in cities make their way back to their home states.

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