In 2021, the urban unemployment rate (UR) in India spiked to 12.6 percent in the April-June quarter, up from 9.3 percent in the January-March quarter, the latest Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report released by Centre's National Statistical Office has shown.
The figure had however come down from the unemployment rate of 20.8 percent in the April-June quarter in 2020, when the first wave of COVID-19 was at its peak. The number was high then owning to the nationwide lockdown imposed in the after math of COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
Unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of unemployed persons in the labour force.
The unemployement rate in the April June period of 2021 too assumes significance as it was during this time that India witnessed the deadly second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, when thousands of people succumbed to the virus.
The report also pointed out that the unemployment rate in urban females has been consistently higher compared to that of urban males in the 15 to 29 age group, during all the survey periods in 2020 and 2021. For instance, while only 24 percent of urban males in 15-29 age group were unemployed in April June 2021, a significantly higher fraction of almost 31 percent of females in the same age group were out of jobs during this period.
In 2020, the unemployment rate of males in the 15 to 29 age group was 34.3 percent, while the number was 36.0 percent for females in the April June quarter.
According to the report released on Monday, 14 March, last year, 25.5 percent of people in the 15 to 29 age group were unemployed, which is a slight increase from 22.9 percent during the January March quarter in the same year.
The number was significantly higher in 2020, with almost 34.7 percent of persons in the 15 to 29 age group being unemployed.
The Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) which refers to the percentage of population in the labour force went down from 37.5 percent in January-March 2021 to 37.1 percent in April June 2021. In 2020, the figure was 35.9 during the April June quarter.
Notably, the number of people who were self employed rose from 39.3 percent in January March 2021 to 40.7 percent in April June 2021.