India's jobless rate rises to 16-mth high of 8.30% in Dec
NEW DELHI: India’s unemployment rate rose to 8.30% in December, the highest in 16 months, from 8% in the previous month, data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) showed on Sunday.
The urban unemployment rate rose to 10.09% in December from 8.96% in the previous month, while the rural unemployment rate slipped to 7.44% from 7.55%, the data showed.
Mahesh Vyas, managing director of the CMIE, said the rise in unemployment rate was “not as bad as it may seem,” as it came on top of a healthy increase in the labour participation rate, which shot up to 40.48% in December, the highest in 12 months.
“Most importantly, the employment rate has increased in December to 37.1%, which again is the highest since Jan 2022,” he said.
Containing high inflation and creating jobs for millions of young people entering the job market remain the biggest challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration ahead of the national elections in 2024.
The main opposition Congress launched a five-month-long cross-country march in September from the southern city of Kanniyakumari to Srinagar, in Jammu and Kashmir region, to mobilise public opinion on issues such as high prices, unemployment and what it says are divisive politics of PM Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party.
“India needs to move from a single focus on GDP growth to growth with employment, skilling of youth and creating production capacities with export prospects,” Rahul Gandhi, who is leading party’s 3,500 kilometre(2,175 mile) march on foot, told reporters on Saturday.