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India’s April Unemployment Rate 7.6%, Highest Since Oct 2016: CMIE

The latest unemployment figures could yet prove to be a setback for PM Narendra Modi.

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The unemployment rate in India rose to 7.6 percent in April, the highest monthly figure since October 2016, as per data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), released late on Wednesday, 1 May.

The corresponding figure for the month of March was 6.71 percent.

“The lower unemployment rate in March was a blip, and it has again climbed following the trend of earlier months,” Mahesh Vyas, head of the Mumbai-based CMIE think-tank, told Reuters.

Factory activity, as per the report, expanded at its slowest pace in eight months in April as growth in new orders and output dipped as the Lok Sabha elections got underway, a separate private business survey found.

Optimism among manufacturing firms also ebbed among uncertainty over the next government and its policies.

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The latest figures could yet prove to be a setback for PM Narendra Modi and his party’s re-election bid, as the Opposition continues to use job growth as an electoral issue in the remaining three phases of the general elections.

The CMIE had said in an earlier report, released in January, that nearly 11 million people lost their jobs in 2018 because of the impact of demonetisation and the chaotic introduction of the goods and services tax (GST) in 2017.

Job Data Withheld

The Centre had recently withheld job growth and employment data, sparking controversy.

The report, by the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) periodic labour force survey (PLFS), had states that India’s unemployment rate was at a 45-year high of 6.1 percent during 2017-18.

Following this, the Opposition had come down heavily on the BJP government, with the Congress and its members calling out the Centre for the lack of jobs.

(With inputs from Reuters, PTI)

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Topics:  Narendra Modi   Jobs   NSSO 

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