India’s jobless rate rises to 7.83% in April, unemployment highest in Haryana

India’s unemployment rate rose to 7.83% in April from 7.60% in March, data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) showed on Sunday.

The urban unemployment rate rose to 9.22% in April from 8.28% the previous month, while the rural unemployment rate slipped to 7.18% from 7.29%, the data showed.

The highest unemployment rate of 34.5% was recorded in the northern state of Haryana, followed by 28.8% in Rajasthan and 21.1 per cent in Bihar. Meanwhile, the joblessness was lowest in Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Assam, where the unemployment rate stood at a minuscule 0.2 per cent, 0.6 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.

Economists say job opportunities have been hit by sluggish domestic demand and the slow pace of economic recovery amid rising prices.

Retail inflation rose to a 17-months high of 6.95% in March, and is likely to peak around 7.5% later this year, Shilan Shah, economist at Capital Economics, Singapore, said in a note on Saturday. He expects a repo rate hike by the central bank in June.

The data from the Mumbai-based CMIE is closely watched by economists and policymakers as the government does not release its own monthly figures.

They have also been watching the falling labour participation rate – the proportion of people in employment or seeking work among the working population. That slipped to 39.5% in March 2022 from 43.7% in March 2019, according to CMIE’s earlier data, as millions lost jobs during the pandemic.

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