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15 million lose work in May, urban jobless rate hits 18%

NEW DELHI: Over 15 million jobs were lost during May, while the urban joblessness rate hit 18% in the week ending May 30, the highest in the past one year, data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has shown. “Employment fell from 390.8 million in April 2021 to 375.5 million in May 2021. This translates into a loss of 15.3 million jobs, or a 3.9% fall in employment in the month,” Mahesh Vyas, MD and CEO of CMIE, wrote on its website.
“May 2021 is also the fourth consecutive month of a fall in employment. The cumulative fall in employment since January 2021 is 25.3 million. Employment in January 2021 was 400.7 million. This has dropped to 375.5 million,” said Vyas.
He said April and May 2021 witnessed a particularly severe fall in employment. “They account for 22.7 million of the 25.3 million job losses in the past four months. This is the period of the severe second wave of Covid-19. During these two months, India witnessed lockdowns of varying degrees for different durations in different regions. It was a period of substantial disruption in economic activities which was bound to reflect in employment,” said Vyas.
He said the CMIE’s consumer pyramid household survey showed that the impact during these two months, particularly in May 2021 was severe on daily wage workers. The rural unemployment rate in the week ending May 30 was 9.6%, lower than the 13.5% in the weekending May 23.

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