The urban unemployment rate dropped marginally to 9.3% during January-March 2019, offering some good news for the Narendra Modi government which has been under criticism for its job creation record. The jobless rates in the three previous quarters were 9.8% (April-June 2018), 9.7% (July-September 2018) and 9.9% (October-December 2018), according to the quarterly bulletin of the Periodic Labour Force Survey of the National Statistical Office. The bulletin did not offer the jobless rate for the January-March quarter of 2018.
There has been a fall in the jobless rates for both men and women in the January-March quarter. The unemployment rate for men was 8.7% for the period, while that for the three previous quarters were 9% (April-June 2018), 8.9% (July-September 2018) and 9.2% (October-December 2018).
A recent study by rating agency CARE found that the employment growth in the country has slowed in the last two financial years. The survey of 1,938 companies across sectors put the job creation figures at 3.9% for 2017-18 and 2.8% for 2018-19. The CARE survey found that all core sectors apart from crude oil industry experienced negative growth in headcount due to the economic slowdown that saw the GDP growth plummeting to 5% in the first quarter of the current fiscal.
The NSO survey shows that the labour force participation rate in urban areas during January-March 2019 was steady. The LFPR for the period was 36% during the period, compared with 35.6% during April-June 2018.