Global pandemic COVID-19 has not only taken lives but also jobs of Indians. India’s unemployment rate in 2020 was the highest since 1991 amid the outbreak of the coronavirus, according to an analysis by the Centre for Economic Data and Analysis (CEDA), based on the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) ILOSTAT database.
India's unemployment rate has increased sharply to 7.11 percent in 2020 from 5.27 percent in 2019, as per the analysis.
India had a higher unemployment rate between 2015 and 2019 when compared to the US, the UK and Germany. However, in 2020, the US had a higher employment rate, the study found.
India has the highest unemployment rate among the BRICS nations, the report said. India's unemployment rate in 2020 was the highest among its immediate neighbours and it has been the highest since 2010.
During the recent lockdowns and restrictions following the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, India's unemployment rate reached around the one-year high of 14.73 percent in the week ended on May 23, according to another study by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). India's unemployment rate reached an all-time high of 23.52 percent in April 2020.
The CMIE report found that the rise in the rural unemployment rate is a more recent phenomenon that began in May. The 30-day moving average employment rate as of May 23 has fallen by 100 basis points, marking a loss of 10 million jobs, said the CMIE study.
The rising unemployment may not only be contributed by unorganised labour but also the organised and salaried segment. This may hit consumption in a big way. The report also indicated growing rural distress.