Urban unemployment rate dropped in July-September 2022: NSO report
India's unemployment rate in the July-September quarter of 2022 in urban areas slowed down to 7.2%, which is comparatively lower than the 7.6% recorded during the April-June quarter. This improvement came as the job market and economic activity started gathering momentum after the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. The quarterly Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) was released on Thursday by the National Statistical Office (NSO).
Unemployment rate for women stood at 9.4%
The NSO's latest data revealed the unemployment rate among women aged 15 years and above went down from 9.5% in the April-June period to 9.4% in the July-September quarter. During the January-March quarter, this unemployment rate was at 10.1% and had stayed in double digits earlier. Between July and September 2021, the overall unemployment rate was 9.8%.
Effect of COVID-19 lockdown on employment
The rigid COVID-19 lockdown norms put into place by the Centre to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus drove the overall unemployment rate to 20.9% in the April-June quarter of 2020. This had also increased concerns regarding the job situation across the country.
Possible reason behind improvement
The statistics also indicate that some of the improvement in the unemployment rate might be due to the availability of poor-quality jobs, which have been becoming more common since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Notably, the quarterly Periodic Labour Force Survey releases don't cover rural labor markets and provide partial insight into the employment scenario of the country.
Self-employed rate goes up
The self-employed rate stood at 39.7% per the latest NSO report, which is the highest ever for this quarter. Meanwhile, the share of casual workers went up to 11.6%, higher only than the 11.4% reported between July and September 2020.
What is unemployment rate?
The unemployment rate is the percentage of individuals in the labor force—who are willing and able to work but don't have jobs. To measure this, it is important to identify who is in the labor force—both unemployed and employed persons. The unemployment rate can give insight into how the national/global economy is functioning, making it a critical factor in chalking out monetary policy.
Why PLFS has been established by NSO
The NSO launched the PLFS to evaluate the unemployment and employment indicators (unemployment rate, labor force participation rate, worker population ratio) in three months for urban zones in the current weekly status.