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A Statewise Analysis from 1993–94 to 2017–18

Rising Unemployment in India

The rise in the unemployment rate in the recent years along with its convergence across states could be an indicator of a positive change in the economy. Its association with educational attainments and urbanisation is testimony to the brighter side of the development story of India. Further, this rise, against the backdrop of the falling share of the informal sector employment, may suggest that the labour market participants can now afford to remain unemployed instead of getting residually absorbed in petty activities. However, this must not undermine the larger issue of employment creation, which has been a matter of great concern since long.

According to the latest report on the employment–unemployment situation (Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), 2017–18 of the National Statistical Office), the unemployment rate is estimated at 6.1% at the all-India level as per the usual status criterion. This confirms that the unemployment rate is not only on the rise in the country, but also that it is at an all-time high.

It has been the highest since 1977–78 among the males and highest since 1983 among the females in the rural as well as urban areas (Figure A1 in the Appendix, p 16). Further, between the sexes, the unemployment rate is higher among the urban females at 10.8% than their male counterparts, estimated at 7.1%. In the rural areas, the male unemployment rate, estimated at 5.8%, exceeded the female rate at 3.8%. The unemployment rate, being the highest among urban females, does not come as a surprise because many of them are educated and can afford to wait for long till a job of a desirable status becomes available as they may not be the principal earners.

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Updated On : 23rd Dec, 2019

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