According to the latest Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, stating that India’s unemployment rate fall during the financial year 2018-19 as compared to the last year. The Labour Force Survey (PLFS) conducted between July 2018 and June 2019 showed that the Unemployment rate in India fell to 5.8 percent compared to 6.1 percent in FY2017-18. But the numbers are still higher as compared to the 2.2 percent unemployment rate recorded in 2011-12, the only employment survey conducted prior to the 2017-18 survey.
Statistics of the Report
PLFS for 2018-19 it surveyed 101,579 households (55,812 in rural areas and 45,767 in urban areas) and 420,757 people (rural – 239,817, urban – 180,940).
The Labour force participation rate also improved marginally, from 36.9% in 2017-18 to 37.5% in 2018-19. Women’s unemployment fell from 5.7% to 5.2%, while male unemployment only fell from 6.2% to 6%. Urban unemployment was still at a high of 7.7% in 2018-19, a marginal drop from 7.8% in 2017-18, while rural unemployment fell from 5.3% to 5%.
The worker population ratio also increased, to 35.3% as against 34.7% in 2017-18. In addition, this time the unemployment rate among minorities also rose. For FY2018-19, the unemployment rate among SCs rose from 6.3% to 6.4% while the same for STs rose from 4.3%to 4.5%.
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At the same time, the unemployment rate among OBCs (Other Backward Classes) came down to 5.9% from the earlier 6%. For others (castes), the rate dropped from 6.7% to 5.9%.
The rate of unemployment for citizens identified as illiterate fell from 1.1% to 1.2%. Similarly, the rate for literate and up to primary improved from 2.7 percent to 2.4 percent. For middle school graduates, unemployment came down from 5.5 percent to 4.8 percent in FY2018-19.
Effect of COVID -19 on Unemployment
Experts feel that in 2019-20 it would be a challenge to retain the falling trend in unemployment rate due to a long nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19, resulting in job losses across sectors and the numbers will be higher in next survey for the period of July 2019 to June 2020.
The economic growth for 2020-21 is expected to contract by at least 5-12 percent.
P.C. Mohanan, former chairman of the National Statistics Commission, said, “The previous report released was in 2011-12. Now, the reports are coming every year and the unemployment rate is unlikely to change much unless there are big shocks. Demonetisation was a shock and now the Covid-19 pandemic is a shock. The next survey’s unemployment numbers will reflect the pandemic shock.”
According to monthly data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, the unemployment rate in India shot up from 7.87% in June 2019 to 23.48% in May 2020