CMIE: 2.1 crore got jobs in May, but unemployment rate still ‘very high’ at 23.5 percent

TPE Correspondent

New Delhi June 2nd

Private think-tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) on Tuesday said that the labour market conditions have improved in May in India, as many workers returned to their work in the month. However, it also said that the unemployment rate remains to be very high at 23.5 per cent.

“A total of 2.1 crore jobs were added in May, and the labour participation rate improved significantly”, CMIE said in a statement released on Tuesday.

The report by the CMIE on unemployment came days after the Centre announced the fifth phase of nation-wide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has badly hit the businesses and left thousands of workers unemployed.  “A number of people who had left the active labour markets in April returned back in May. People who had left the labour market in April because of large-scale job losses had parked themselves in the passive unemployed category,” Mahesh Vyas, head of the Mumbai-based think-tank said. “In May, many of these were back, actively looking for jobs,” he added.

The CMIE report further stated that of the 2.1 crore jobs added in May, 1.4 crores comprised of small traders and daily wage labourers who account for one-third of the total employed population. The increase of 2.1 crore jobs translates into the growth of 7.5 per cent as compared to last month growth. Also, the jobs of small traders and wage labourers surged 39 per cent, the report added. The CMIE last month had reported 12.2 crore job losses in the month of April alone.

The unemployment rate of the country stood at 23.5 per cent in May, the same as it was recorded in April. However, the labour participation rate improved significantly from 35.6 per cent to 38.2 per cent and the employment rate improved from 27.2 per cent to 29.2 per cent, the CMIE report stated. “While the main labour market metrics indicate an improvement in May compared to April, the labour market conditions still remain much weaker than they were before the lockdown,” Vyas wrote.

“Salaried jobs are relatively difficult to get. And, salaried jobs lost during a lockdown are far more difficult to recover. These are also the better jobs,” he added in the report. Last week, the official data by the government showed that India’s GDP growth hits 11-year low in fiscal year 2019-20. However, the GDP growth expanded 3.1 per cent in the Jamuary-March quarter showing partial impacts of the coronavirus lockdown on the manufacturing and services sectors.

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