India’s unemployment rose to a three-month high in March to 7.8 per cent as the country’s labour markets deteriorated, according to data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).
Unemployment rate in the country surged in December 2022 to 8.30 per cent but declined in January to 7.14 per cent. It edged up again in February to 7.45 per cent, the CMIE data released on Saturday showed.
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During March, the unemployment rate in urban areas was at 8.4 per cent while in the rural areas it was at 7.5 per cent.
“India’s labour markets deteriorated in March 2023. The unemployment rate increased from 7.5 per cent in February to 7.8 per cent in March. The effect of this is compounded by the simultaneous fall in the labour force participation rate, which fell from 39.9 per cent to 39.8 per cent,” CMIE managing director Mahesh Vyas told PTI.
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This led to a fall in the employment rate from 36.9 per cent in February to 36.7 per cent in March, Vyas said, adding that employment fell from 409.9 million to 407.6 million.
Among the states, unemployment was the highest in Haryana at 26.8 per cent closely followed by Rajasthan at 26.4 per cent, Jammu and Kashmir at 23.1 per cent, Sikkim 20.7 per cent, Bihar 17.6 per cent and Jharkhand 17.5 per cent.
Unemployment was the lowest in Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh at 0.8 per cent each followed by Puducherry at 1.5 per cent, Gujarat 1.8 per cent, Karnataka 2.3 per cent and Meghalaya and Odisha at 2.6 per cent each.
CIEL HR Services Director and CEO Aditya Mishra said that post the festive season of October-January, employment in retail, supply chain, logistics, financial services and e-commerce has declined.
“Our sectors of IT, Technology and Startups have tightened their belts leading to a slowdown in fresh hiring. Thirdly, March being the month of financial year-end and examinations, the sectors of leisure travel, tourism, entertainment and hospitality are not witnessing high demand.
“These factors have reduced the employment drive. Manufacturing, engineering, construction and infrastructure have kept the job markets warm. The results of March are a combination of all these factors. We will see a pickup in April,” he added.
TeamLease Services co-founder Rituparna Chakraborty said the unemployment data is reflective of a pensive mood noticed in the current economic environment.
“India Inc is being thoughtful and weighing each step with caution and hence has momentarily tempered down hiring as what is happening globally at some point can affect India too. However, for India it could only be a passing shower as we are far more resilient to external forces, she added.