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India’s unemployment rate rises to 6.9% in February: CMIE

India’s unemployment rate increased to 6.9 per cent in February 2021, while as Jammu & Kashmir’s unemployment rate soared to 14.2%, according to latest data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).

This latest insight into Jammu & Kashmir’s unemployment rate is likely to raise concerns about rising joblessness here, even as CMIE’s data is known not to be based on the full picture of both organised and unorganized sectors. While the February data reflects an improvement from the Sept-Dec 2020 period, the fact that J&K’s rate is double the national average would be a cause of concern to many.

“J&K’s situation is likely to be worse considering the fact that we do not have a robust system of data collection on a monthly basis in both organised and unorganized sectors even at the official level. CMIE data is generally based on a small sample size, the last report sample size being 2588 households “, an official at J&K’s Economics and Statistics Department told Ziraat Times.

CMIE data shows that unemployment rate in urban areas declined despite a rise in joblessness rate on a national level. The rural areas, however, saw surge in unemployment during the month under review. The urban unemployment rate dropped to 6.99 in February from 8.08 in January 2021, while rural unemployment rate rose to 6.86 per cent from 5.83 per cent in the previous month.

Among the states, Haryana reported highest unemployment rate of 26.4 per cent, followed by Rajasthan at 25.6 per cent and Goa at 21.1 per cent. Assam has the lowest unemployment rate of 1.6 per cent, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 2.1.

The 30-day moving average of unemployment rate was 7 per cent as of February 28, 2021, CMIE data showed.

The unemployment rate has been volatile in the past six months as it has ranged from a low of 6.5 per cent in November 2020 to a high of 9.1 per cent in December 2020. The average unemployment rate during this six-month period was somewhat high at about 7.4 per cent. The high monthly volatility of unemployment in normal times reflects the high proportion of informal employment in India.

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