Unemployment rate in India drops to 11-month low

The unemployment rate fell to 6.57% in January – the lowest since March last year, contributed by a decrease in rural unemployment.
By: | February 4, 2022

The rate fell from the 7.91% seen in December and the 6.97% in November.

The decrease in the unemployment rate could be attributed to the relaxing of pandemic restrictions since January 15 after the number of COVID cases started to drop across major states. 

The rural unemployment rate in January fell to 5.84% from 7.28% in December 2021, while the urban unemployment rate was 8.16% compared to 9.30% in December, data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) showed.

By state, Telangana had the lowest unemployment rate in January at 0.7% followed by Gujarat at 1.2%, Meghalaya at 1.5%, Odisha at 1.8%, and Karnataka at 2.9%. 

The low rates in these states would have significantly reduced the number of unemployed in India. CMIE estimated the number of unemployed in India as of December 2021 at 53 million with a huge proportion of them being women.

Of these, 35 million who were unemployed were actively seeking work, while 17 million, though willing to work, were not actively seeking it, said CMIE. 

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Out of the 35 million unemployed actively looking for work in December 2021, 23% or 8 million were women. Meanwhile, of the 17 million who were passively unemployed, 53% or 9 million were women willing to work although they were not actively looking for employment, said CMIE, according to The Economic Times.