India’s unemployment rate hit four-decade high after demonetisation: Report

New Delhi : India’s estimated unemployment rate shot at a 45-year high of 6.1% in 2017-18, according to the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) periodic labour force survey. The survey is the first on employment by a government agency since demonetisation.

According to the report, accessed by Business Standard, the unemployment rate was at its highest level since 1972-73. The report said the report showed that joblessness stood at 7.8 percent in urban areas compared with 5.3 parts in the countryside.

The report, revealed just a day before the government’s interim Budget, sets up a huge controversy just before the national election, due by May, with the opposition targeting the government on jobs data.

Two independent members of the National Statistical Commission had resigned this week after the government allegedly failed to publish the report that was prepared last month. The report is still not public.

Speaking to media, Mohanan had said: “I have resigned from NSC. We thought that the Commission is not very effective nowadays and we also thought that we are not able to discharge the Commission’s responsibility”.

Issuing a clarification, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on Wednesday said: “These concerns were not expressed by the members in any of the meetings of the Commission in the last few months.” The ministry, it further added, values the advice of NSC and takes appropriate action.

Referring to the issues concerning labour force survey, which is conducted by the NSSO under MoSPI, it said: “NSSO is processing the quarterly data for the period, July 2017 to December 2018, and the report will be released thereafter.”