The unemployment rate in urban India has been increasing since the beginning of the current month. As calculated the rate of 7.21% on April 4, bounced to 9.81% for the week ended April 11 and to 10.72% till April 18, CMIE’s latest data showed.
This demonstrates a shift in the burden of job losses to urban India, changing the trend of rural India largely bearing the brunt of Covid-induced strain on employment. The overall unemployment rate was marginally down to 8.4% for the week of April 18 when compared with 8.58% just a week ago. The rural unemployment rate, which had been on the boom for the entire month of March — from 5.86% on March 7, it increased to 6.17% on March 14, 6.41% on March 21 and to 8.58% on April 4 — dropped to 8% on April 11 and further to 7.31% on April 18.
Mahesh Vyas, MD & CEO, CMIE, later stated that about six million of the 10 million salaried jobs lost due to this situation — March level against the average of 2019-20 — were from the rural sector. The rural sector workers faced such a situation where MSMEs and other industrial units are in trouble, he had said.
In the absence of possibilities in companies and small establishments, there has been a transformation of the labour force to the agriculture space, creating a fair bit of disguised unemployment, he stated. The unemployment rate stood at its peak for the week ended May 3, 2020, at 27.11%.
As per the records, half the factories in Maharashtra are either shut or on the edge of shutting down. Delhi on Monday decided to impose a weeklong lockdown with effect from April 19 evening. Even other urban centres may also declare such restrictions soon.