India’s unemployment rate falls to 12.6 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2021, from a year ago for the same period, according to the National Statistical Office’s (NSO) periodic labour market survey.
That rate in the January-March quarter of 2021 was 9.3 per cent, the 11th Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) showed.
While the jobless rate – measured based on those who are 15 years or above and living in urban areas – rose back above double digits in percentage terms in the quarter ending June 2021, it was down from 20.8 per cent in the same period a year ago.
That number was skewed higher because of the lockdown restrictions imposed in the country because of the pandemic in full force.
The joblessness or unemployment rate is a percentage measure of unemployed people in the labour force.
A breakdown of the data showed the unemployment rate among females declined to 14.3 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2021 from 21.1 per cent a year ago. It was 11.8 per cent in the January-March quarter of 2021.
Among males, the rate dipped to 12.2 per cent compared to 20.7 per cent a year ago. It was 8.6 per cent in the quarter ending March of 2021.
The labour force participation rate in the current weekly status was 46.8 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2021, up from 45.9 per cent in the same period a year ago. It was 47.5 per cent in the January-March 2021 period.
The labour force refers to the part of the population which supplies or offers to supply labour for pursuing economic activities for the production of goods and services and, therefore, includes both employed and unemployed persons.
NSO launched PLFS in April 2017. Based on PLFS, a quarterly bulletin is brought out giving estimates of labour force indicators, namely the unemployment rate (UR), Worker Population Ratio (WPR), Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), distribution of workers by broad status in employment and industry of work in Current Weekly Status (CWS).
The estimates of unemployed persons in CWS give an average picture of unemployment in a short period of seven days during the survey period.
In the CWS approach, a person is considered unemployed if they did not work even for one hour on any day during the week but sought or was available for work at least one hour on any day during the period.
The labour force is the number of people either employed or unemployed on an average in a week preceding the date of the survey. LFPR is defined as the percentage of the population in the labour force.
WPR (in per cent) in CWS in urban areas for persons of age 15 years and above stood at 40.9 per cent in April-June 2021, down from 36.4 per cent in the same period a year ago. It was 43.1 per cent in January-March, 2021.
Ten quarterly bulletins corresponding to the quarter ending December 2018 to March 2021 have already been released.