Unemployment rate dips to a year’s low of 6.6% in April-June 2023: Official data | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Unemployment rate dips to a year’s low of 6.6% in April-June 2023: Official data

Oct 09, 2023 07:14 PM IST

The labour force participation rate (LFPR) is at a four-quarter high of 48.8%, compared to 47.5% in the same quarter of the previous year

NEW DELHI: India’s unemployment rate has dipped to a one-year low, according to official data released on Monday, pointing to a sustained uptick in economic activity and steady post-pandemic recovery, analysts said.

Youngsters do physical exercises for upcoming 'Agniveer' recruitment rally near the International Border in Ranbir Singh Pura (PTI File Photo)
Youngsters do physical exercises for upcoming 'Agniveer' recruitment rally near the International Border in Ranbir Singh Pura (PTI File Photo)

The joblessness rate in urban areas for people aged 15 years and above stood at 6.6% in the April-June 2023 period, compared to 7.6% in the same quarter last year, the ministry of statistics and programme implementation’s four-monthly periodic labour force survey (PLFS) showed.

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The latest unemployment rate is a slightly lower than the joblessness rate of 6.8% recorded in the preceding three months (Jan-March 2023).

A country’s unemployment rate is the number of unemployed people divided by the labour force (people with jobs plus the unemployed) multiplied by 100. Unemployed people not looking for work are not counted as part of the labour force.

A key parameter, the labour force participation rate (LFPR), also stood at a four-quarter high of 48.8%, compared to 47.5% in the same quarter of the previous year.

However, the LFPR in the latest quarter surveyed has risen only marginally compared to the LFPR of 48.5% in the immediate previous quarter (Jan-March 2023). The LFPR refers to people with jobs or those seeking jobs.

“Autonomous economic activity (the private sector) has risen. All economic indicators are rather good except inflation, leading to more labour-market opportunities. That said, unemployment levels are still higher than pre-Covid levels,” said KR Shyam Sundar, a labour economist and adjunct professor at Management Development Institute, Gurgaon.

According to analysts, India’s LFPR has been nearly stagnant largely because of the decline of women from the job market. According to the “State of Working 2023” released by the Bangalore-based Azim Premji University last month, there has been a recent rebound in the LFPR due to a rise in women’s participation in the labour force led by self-employment.

“At the same as we celebrate the decreasing trend of unemployment, the fact that the rate of joblessness rate in still higher that what it was in the pre-Covid times makes it very important for both private and public to keep flowing,” Sundar said.

Before 2017, the country did not have regular estimates of employment. Given the critically of availability of high-frequency labour-market data (which gives information at periodic intervals), the National Sample Survey Office had launched the PLFS in April 2017.

A widely cited private estimate of joblessness also shows a declining trend in unemployment. According to the Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy (CMIE), the unemployment rate in India fell to 7.1% in September 2023 from 8.1% in August. CMIE’s unemployment data, however, is not comparable to official PLFS because the two follow entirely different models to gauge labour-market indicators.

The PLFS broadly covers three key parameters related to the labour market: the joblessness rate, the LFPR and worker population ratio (WPR) for urban areas. The WPR refers to the percentage of employed persons in the population.

The all-India WPR in urban areas increased from 43.9% in April-June 2022 to 45.5% in April-June 2023 for persons of age 15 years and above. For males, the WPR rose from 68.3% to 69.2% during this period and for females, it increased from 18.9% to 21.1%.

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