India’s unemployment rate in April rose to 7.6 percent, the highest since October 2016, and up from 6.71 percent in March, as per data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).
While the unemployment rate in March had dipped, but it has once again climbed up following the trend of earlier months, stated Mahesh Vyas, head of the Mumbai-based CMIE think-tank to Reuters.
Factory activity expanded at its slowest pace in eight months in April as growth in new orders and output has plummeted due to the onset of general elections. Similarly, optimism among manufacturing firms also dipped in April as they remain concerned about what policies a new government will adopt when it comes into power in May.
In January, a CMIE report had showed that about 11 million people lost jobs in 2018 as a consequence of demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes in 2016. Another reason for a loss in jobs could be the GST implemented in 2017 which affected small businesses and medium-sized enterprises.
There is no dearth of working age population in India which increases by 23 million a year, according to CMIE. If at least 42 to 43 percent of these new labor market entrants join the workforce to actively seek employment, CMIE estimates that the Indian economy would have to provide for about 0.8 million jobs every month taking into account attrition due to retirement.rises.
The figures could be another setback for Prime Minister Narendra Modi which has come under criticism for low jobs growth. No wonder, according to a recent survey by Pew Research Center, Indian adults feel lack of jobs and growing inflation are the biggest concerns for the nation.