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Coronavirus impact | India#39;s unemployment rate hits 23.4%, sees sharp spike after mid-March

Coronavirus impact | India#39;s unemployment rate hits 23.4%, sees sharp spike after mid-March
April 08
01:29 2020

Initial estimates of job data show that the coronavirus pandemic could have caused unemployment to rise to 23.4 percent, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) stated.

The business information company tracks unemployment data on a weekly basis. According to its estimates, unemployment has risen from 8.4 percent in the week ended March 22 to 23.4 percent as of the week ended April 5.

The nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 began on March 24. Many states had imposed a lockdown in some districts even before the nationwide lockdown was announced.

In the week ended March 29, the unemployment rate had shot up to 23.8 percent, according to CMIE data.

India’s employment rate plunged to a record low of 38.2 percent in March 2020, the CMIE added, calling it a “precipitous fall”.

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“The fall since January 2020 is particularly steep – almost spectacular. It seems to have nosedived in March after having struggled to remain stable over the past two years,” the CMIE said about the employment rate.

(Source: CMIE)

Pronab Sen, a former chief statistician of India, as quoted by Mint, estimates that roughly 50 million people lost their jobs two weeks after the lockdown began.

“Since some may have just been sent home for now, the actual scope of unemployment may be even higher and may show up a little later,” Sen said. 

“This (the unemployment number) is also somewhat expected,” said Himanshu, associate professor of economics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, told the publication.

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