While the overall unemployment rate in the country has dropped to 6.52 per cent, urban unemployment is up by 7.24 per cent in March, according to data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). This comes at a time when some cities have been placed under strict restrictions or are more likely to be under a lockdown-like situation to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The overall unemployment rate in the country stood at 6.52 per cent in March, from 6.90 per cent the previous month. After two months of decline, the urban unemployment rate increased to 7.24 per cent in March from 6.99 per cent in February. In rural unemployment, the figures fell to 6.19 per cent in March from 6.86 per cent in February, according to the Moneycontrol report.
As a fresh set of lockdown lingers, CMIE states, the household incomes had not repaired to their pre-lockdown levels even in October 2020. “Average household income in October 2020 was 12 per cent lower than it was a year ago. Given that employment in October 2020 was also lower than it was a year ago, aggregate household income was even lower than the average household income,” wrote Mahesh Vyas, CEO of CMIE, in a post. He added the livelihood cost of a lockdown is too high. Average household incomes fell by 9.2 per cent in March 2020 and by 27.9 per cent in April 2020 as a result of the lockdown.
He further pointed out mere employment status does not tell the entire story of the stress that households have gone through during the lockdown.