Unemployment rate in urban areas decline: Govt report

The unemployment rate in urban areas may have shown a marginal decline in January-March 2019 but one of the worrying signs a government report shows is that almost at least one in five youth are jobless.

The Periodic Labour Force Survey: Quarterly Bulletin (January- March 2019) released last week showed that the overall unemployment rate in urban areas has declined to 9.3% from 9.8%.

The January-March quarter figure is the lowest in the three preceding quarters. In April-June 2018, it was 9.8% while it was 9.7% and 9.9% in the next two quarters. The report does not mention the figure for January-March 2018.

Unemployment rate (UR) is defined as the percentage of unemployed persons in the labour force. According to the current weekly status (CWS) approach, a person was considered as unemployed in a week if he/she did not work even for 1 hour during the week but sought or was available for work at least for 1 hour during the week.

However, when one takes the figures for 15-29 years, the unemployment rate among urban youths is at a high of 22.5% though it may be less than the previous quarters when it had clocked 22.9%, 23.1% and 23.7%. The worst affected are young women with 29% of them being jobless.

When it comes to women workers of all ages, the unemployment rate is higher at 11.6% compared to 8.7% for men in January-March 2019 quarter. In the previous quarters, the women unemployment rate was 12.8%, 12.7% and 12.3%.

The report also showed that Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) in Current Weekly Status for all ages is estimated as 36% in the urban areas during January-March 2019 as compared to 35.6% during April- June 2018. LFPR is defined as the percentage of the population in the labour force. Labour-force according to current weekly status (CWS) is the number of persons either employed or unemployed on an average in a week of 7 days preceding the date of survey.

Among men, it is 56.2% in the urban areas during January-March 2019 as compared to 56% during April- June 2018. For women, it is 15% in the urban areas during January-March 2019 as compared to 14.6% in April-June 2018.

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