Yogi's Claim of Unemployment Rate Reducing From 18% to 2.9% is Misleading

Contrary to Yogi Adityanath's claims, unemployment rate in Uttar Pradesh was at 18% when he took charge.

3 min read

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony of the Uttar Pradesh Investors Summit at Indira Gandhi Pratishthan in Lucknow on Friday, 3 June, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath claimed that the unemployment rate in the state had fallen from 18 percent to 2.9 percent under his governance.

Talking about the steps taken by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state since 2017, Adityanath said, "We have built an investment-friendly atmosphere in the state, improved the law and order situation, and started the one-district-one-product scheme under the guidance of the prime minister".

Highlighting the employment opportunities provided to the youth, he said that the government has helped more than 1.61 crore youths with jobs in private sector, and connected 60 lakh traditional industries with central government schemes.

He then went on to state that unemployment has reduced from 18 percent to 2.9 percent.

However, we found that the claim made by the UP CM was misleading. According to the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE), an independent think tank that publishes monthly and quarterly data bulletins on employment in India, the unemployment rate was 2.4 percent in March 2017, when Yogi took over as the chief minister.

The 2.9 percent unemployment rate figure seems to be from the CMIE data for April 2022. It shows that the unemployment rate was lower when Adityanath took charge. Moreover, the unemployment rate increased to as much as 21.5 percent in April 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further, as per the Annual Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) – conducted by the the National Statistical Office (NSO) under the Ministry of Labour Employment and collated by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) – the unemployment rate in 2017-2018 was 6.2 percent.

CMIE Data Shows Unemployment Rate Didn't Reach Two-Digits in 2017

Data from the CMIE showed that the unemployment rate in UP touched 18 percent, but it was in June 2016 under the Samajwadi Party government lead by Akhilesh Yadav, and months before Yogi came to power.

This rate decreased to 2.4 percent in March 2017 when the BJP came to power in the state.

Unemployment rate in the state from 2016 to May 2022 can be seen below.

The data from the think tank also showed that unemployment rate in the state increased to a high of 21.5 percent in April 2020 during the first lockdown induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar rise in unemployment rates were seen in several other states.

However, even if we discount the pandemic, there was a significant rise in unemployment rate in December 2019.

Since April 2022, the unemployment rate has since increased to 3.1 percent in May.

If we compare the unemployment rate in March 2017 with May 2022, it shows that it has increased under the BJP government.


Government Data Also Dismisses Adityanath's Claim

According to the annual Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) conducted by the the NSO, the unemployment rate in 2017-18 was 6.2 percent, which reduced to 5.7 percent in 2018-2019 and went down to 4.4 percent in 2019-2020.

The report also said that UP saw the highest rise in unemployment in urban areas in 2018.

The annual PLFS reports published in July 2021 said that the unemployment rate in UP was 4.4 percent in 2019-20.

The quarterly PLFS data released for the quarter of October-December 2021 shows that the rate of unemployment among people aged 15 years and above in urban areas was 9.4 percent.

Evidently, Adityanath's claim that unemployment rate in the state decreased from 18 percent in 2017 to 2.9 percent is incorrect.


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