RURAL DISTRESS seems to be taking a toll on jobs with all religious groups registering an increase in unemployment, according to the latest edition of a biennial survey conducted by the Ministry of Statistics.
According to the 68th round of the Employment and Unemployment Situation Among Major Religious Groups In India report, released on Friday, the unemployment rate in urban areas has declined even though it remains higher than in rural areas.
The report, based on a survey conducted by NSSO, shows that Christians are the worst-hit on access to jobs, with an unemployment rate of 4.5 per cent in rural and 5.9 per cent in urban areas. Muslims are next with an unemployment rate of 3.9 in rural and 2.6 per cent in urban areas.
The report states that the unemployment rate is 1.7 per cent in rural and 3.4 per cent in urban areas. In its previous report of 2013, unemployment rate was 1.5 per cent in rural and 4.8 per cent in urban areas.
The present report is based on a sample survey conducted across 7,469 villages and 5,268 urban blocks, covering 1.01 lakh households and enumerating 4.56 lakh individuals. In rural India, 22.3 per cent of males and 47.5 per cent of females are illiterate. In urban India, the number stands at 9.9 per cent for males and 22.6 per cent for females.
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Interestingly, the rate of illiteracy among persons aged 15 and above is the lowest amongst Christians who also have the highest percentage of graduates in the country.
Christians have the lowest illiteracy with 14.6 per cent for rural males, 23.7 per cent for rural females, 5.7 per cent for urban males and nine per cent for urban females. The highest illiteracy is among Muslims with 30 per cent for rural males, 48.7 per cent for rural females, 19 per cent for urban males and 33.1 per cent for urban females.
The Labour Force Participation (LFP) remains the poorest for Muslims in the country. Labour force, or the “economically active”, refers to the population that supplies or seeks to supply labour for production of goods and services and therefore, includes both the “employed” and the “unemployed”.
The LFP in rural India is 406 per 1000 individuals and 367 in urban areas. For Muslims, however, it is abysmally low at 337 in rural and 342 in urban areas.
Of those who are employed in rural areas, a majority are self-employed — 54.5 per cent rural males and 59.3 per cent rural females.
In rural India, the number of self-employed stands at 41.7 per cent for male and 42.8 per cent for females. Also, the highest self-employment is seen in Christian males at 56.6 per cent and Sikh females at 79 per cent.
In urban India, the highest self-employment is seen among Sikhs and Muslim males at 52.8 per cent and Muslim females at 61.3 per cent.