Livelihoods: Urban unemployment has increased to 9.81 percent in the week that ended on April 11th 2021 as against 7.72 percent in the week that ended on March 28th 2021, following the imposition of curbs and partial lockdowns in several states.
According to data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the spike in unemployment numbers is not just confined to urban India—the national unemployment rate and rural joblessness have also risen sharply in the past two weeks. While the national unemployment rate was 6.65 percent in the week that ended on March 28th, it went up to 8.58 percent in the week that ended on April 11th. Rural unemployment rose to eight percent from 6.18 percent in the same period.
This rise in unemployment numbers reflects the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 and the restrictions imposed on the labour market. According to economists, the informal sector has been hit the hardest followed by the retail and hospitality industries.
“When you put a night curfew or weekend restrictions, it’s the informal sector that gets impacted the most as they do sizeable business in the evening and on weekends. If the business is low, it’s very obvious that the manpower requirement—let’s say in urban markets and trading centres—will be low. The market or shop clusters get impacted, hampering jobs,” Arup Mitra, a professor of economics at Delhi University, told Live Mint.
India has nearly 14.7 lakh active cases as of April 15th 2021, according to the Ministry of Health. A total of 1,84,372 new infections were registered in the last 24 hours, and the death count increased to 1,72,085 people with 1,027 daily new fatalities.
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