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Unemployment Rate in India Rose to 8.4% in August 2020: CMIE 

There was a sharp increase in unemployment rate April and May during the initial stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

Published
COVID-19
2 min read
The unemployment rate in India has rose to 8.35% in August 2020, according to data from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt. Ltd.
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The unemployment rate in India has risen to 8.35% in August 2020, according to data from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt Ltd.

The data trends suggest that the overall unemployment rate has risen for the first time after declining since May.

In July 2020, the unemployment rate was at 7.43% which was lower than 10.99% in June. Meanwhile, April and May this year recorded the highest unemployment rates of 23.48% and 23.52% respectively.

The graph below shows the unemployment rate from January to August 2020, and how there was a sharp increase in April and May during the initial stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

Looking at urban areas in India, there has been a marginal increase from 9.15% in July to 9.83% in August this year, which is significantly lower than 12.02% in July.

Meanwhile in rural areas, there has been an increase in the unemployment rate from 6.66% in July to 7.65% August.

States which have recorded a high unemployment rate include Haryana with 33.5%, Tripura 27.9%, Rajasthan 17.5%, Goa 16.2%, Himachal Pradesh 15.8%, West Bengal 14.9%, Uttarakhand 14.3% and Bihar 13.4%.

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Salaried Class Yearns for Aid

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the country and the nationwide lockdown implemented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, millions of lives and livelihoods have come under threat.

The informal labour force has been effectively rendered jobless and for many, their survival is based on the government's flagship jobs scheme, MGNREGA, under which every household is entitled to at least 100 days of unskilled manual labour at a rate of Rs 200 per day.

The government allocated approximately Rs 1,20,000 crore towards the scheme from April 2020 to March 2021.

India's unemployment rate rose to over 20 percent during the initial stages of the lockdown but has returned to nearly the pre-COVID-19 numbers in the past two months.

While MNREGA could be the saving grace for the informal sector, and the rural economy could in turn boost the overall situation in the country, concerns are being raised by India's salaried class as well.

CMIE data reveals that between the months of April and August, nearly 19 million formal economy workers were rendered jobless, with 5 million jobs being cut in the month of July alone.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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