Unemployment rate in the country inched marginally higher to 8.59 per cent in the week ended June 28, from 8.48 per cent a week ago, though it remained close to pre-COVID levels. Urban unemployment rate continued to remain in double-digits at 10.69 per cent and rural unemployment rate was recorded at 7.62 per cent, data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) showed.
While rural unemployment rate in the last week of June inched up from 7.26 per cent in the previous week, urban unemployment rate eased from 11.19 per cent. To put it in perspective, the first week of June had seen the unemployment rate at 17.51 per cent for the country, with rural unemployment rate at 17.71 per cent and urban rate at 17.08 per cent.
Experts said Kharif sowing and higher MGNREGA activities are helping keep the rural unemployment rate lower, but the urban unemployment rate is expected to stay high due to supply chain disruptions amid partial resumption of economic activities in the urban areas. Also, reissuance of lockdown guidelines in some states are expected to add to the urban unemployment rate, they said.
“Unemployment in rural areas has cooled down mainly because of the kharif sowing and the MGNREGA scheme is being aggressively pursued along with work on infrastructure projects. Also, temporary jobs provision schemes have picked up…urban unemployment is likely to hover between 10-15 per cent as there is reissuance of lockdown in many areas along with partial resumption of productive activities,” said KR Shyam Sundar, labour economist and professor of Human Resources Management at XLRI.
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