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India's unemployment 7.2% in Feb 2019, it was 5% a year ago: CMIE

By Our Representative
The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has said that India's unemployment rate in February 2019 was 7.2 per cent, higher than 7.1 per cent in January 2019 and much higher than the 5.9 per cent in February 2018 or 5 per cent in February 2017. Releasing latest figures, the top consulting agency has said, simultaneously, the labour participation rate fell from 43.2 per cent in January 2019 to 42.7 per cent in February.
"A year ago, in February 2018, the labour force participation rate was 43.8 per cent. Since then, this ratio has slipped to a low of 42.5 per cent. It seems to be stabilising within the range of 43.2 and 42.5 per cent", CMIE says, adding, however, "The most worrying part of the monthly labour participation rate series is that it has been systematically lower than the corresponding levels a year ago."
According to CMIE, "The falling labour participation rate implies that lower and lower proportion of the working age population is willing to work. The unemployment rate is the proportion of the labour force that is unemployed." It adds, "The employment rate in India skid onto a sharply declining trend from November 2017 when it was 41.8 per cent. By December 2018, it fell to 39.5 per cent. In February 2019, the ratio was 39.7 per cent."
CMIE continues, "The total number of employed persons in February 2019 is estimated at 400 million. This is lower than the 406 million employed in February 2018 and 407.5 million in February 2017." The downward slide, it adds, is h happening when "India needs to employ its growing working-age population", which "grows by an estimated 23 million a year."

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