Unemployment rate at 45-year high, confirms Labour Ministry data

The statistics ministry also said that the female labour participation rate in urban areas for the quarter ending December 2018 was 19.5 per cent, compared with 73.6 per cent for males.

The Centre on Friday confirmed that joblessness in the country stood at 6.1 per cent of the total labour force during 2017-18, the highest in 45 years. The data released by the Labour Ministry also confirmed the pre-election leaked report on unemployment data in January.

The data, released by the Labour Ministry on a day when the Prime Minister Narendra Mod’s new cabinet took charge, showed 7.8 per cent of all employable urban youth being jobless, while the percentage for the rural sector stood at 5.3 per cent.

The statistics ministry also said that the female labour participation rate in urban areas for the quarter ending December 2018 was 19.5 per cent, compared with 73.6 per cent for males. The government, however, declined to provide comparable numbers for the jobless rate. “It’s a new design, new metric,” chief statistician Pravin Srivastava told reporters. Without elaborating he further said, “It would be unfair to compare it with the past.”

Meanwhile, India’s economic growth also slipped to 5.8 per cent in January-March 2018-19, owing to poor performance in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, official data released indicated. The slowdown in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has put India behind China for the first time in two years. The slowdown is likely to put increased pressure on the government and the Finance ministry under Nirmala Sitharaman to provide a stimulus to the economy.

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