Unemployment Rate for 2017-18 at 45-Year High, Confirms Govt Data
Image used for representational purposes.
Image used for representational purposes.(Photo altered by The Quint)

Unemployment Rate for 2017-18 at 45-Year High, Confirms Govt Data

Confirming unemployment rate projected in a pre-election leaked report, the government on Friday, 31 May, said joblessness in the country was 6.1 percent of total labour force during 2017-18, the highest in 45 years.

The data released by the government on a day when Modi 2.0 Cabinet took charge, showed 7.8 percent of all employable urban youth being jobless, while the percentage for the rural was 5.3 percent.

The joblessness among male on all India basis was 6.2 percent, while it was 5.7 percent in case of females.

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Congress ‘Hopes’ PM Addresses Lower Unemployment

Congress senior leader Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, after the data for GDP growth, which slowed to five-year low of 5.8 percent in January-March 2018-19, “Slump in ‘economic growth’ & Runaway ‘unemployment’ are two imp challenges before the country (sic).”

“Hope PM & FM will address them by laying a short-medium-long term roadmap of kick starting the growth engine as also employment generating strategy.”
Randeep Singh Surjewala

The data was released a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took oath on Thursday, 30 May.

Although the government refused to provide comparable numbers for the jobless rate, Chief Statistician Pravin Srivastava told reporters, "It's a new design, new metric," as quoted by Reuters.

He further said, it would be unfair to compare it with the past. In January, Business Standard reported the same figure, saying that it was based on an assessment carried out by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) between July 2017 and June 2018.

It also reported that the unemployment rate was highest since 1972-73.

The government had earlier brushed aside a leaked official report on the country's poor job scenario and maintained that the unemployment data was yet to be finalised.

The Centre had come under fire for withholding the key macro data, with the Opposition parties alleging that it was a deliberate attempt to hide its non-performance.

Moreover, some members of the Statistical Commission had earlier resigned to protest against the government decision to withhold the data.

The official release has come a day after Narendra Modi took oath as Prime Minister for the second time on Thursday in the backdrop of high public expectations on jobs and economic growth.

The official data showed 7.8 percent of all employable urban youth as being jobless during the survey period, while the percentage for the rural areas stood 5.3 percent.

The unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of persons unemployed among the total the labour force. Nearly 10 million youth join the country's workforce every year.

(With inputs from PTI, Reuters and IANS)

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