Second Corona-19 wave leaves another 7 million jobless in India. India’s unemployment rate rose to a four-month high of nearly 8% in April. And the outlook remains weak with state administrations extending lockdowns to curb a record surge in virus cases.
Unemployment increased to 7.97% from 6.5% in March, with more than seven million jobs lost last month, according to data from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy a private research firm.
“There is a fall in the jobs available. This could be due to Second Corona-19 Wave and the lockdowns,” CMIE Managing Director Mahesh Vyas said by telephone. “Since the virus is still quite intense and we are stressed on the medical health-services front, it’s likely that the situation will remain tense in May as well.”
Daily Covid-19 deaths in India hit a record 3,689 Sunday. The number of new cases slowed slightly Monday after India on Saturday became the first country to register more than 400,000 daily cases.
The weak employment outlook is a risk for India’s chances of reaching double-digit economic growth this year.
A separate survey Monday by IHS Markit showed the manufacturing sector was still losing jobs in April. Though the rate of contraction was the weakest in the current 13-month sequence of job shedding.
The CMIE data which economists track closely in the absence of real-time employment data from the government show joblessness is more acute in urban areas as laborers return to their villages.
The labor-force participation rate, which includes the number of people with jobs and seeking work, declined to 40% in April.