Unemployment touches 45-year high after Demonetisation!

A Business Standard report, citing NSSO data, says joblessness in urban areas was at 27.2% among women and 18.7% among males.

The unemployment rate in India excelled to an unprecedented 45-year high of 6.1% in 2017-18, raising questions over the Modi government’s job creation record, a report showed Thursday.

Citing data merged under the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report that has been withheld by the government, a Business Standard report said that joblessness was as high as 27.2% among women and 18.7% among men in urban areas, and 13.6% among women and 17.4% among men in rural areas.

The news report added that more workers are withdrawing from the force as labor force participation rate is declining.

The high unemployment rate is for the year immediately following the Modi government’s decision to demonetize high-value currency notes in November 2016 that brought the economy to a stop and led to massive job losses across small and medium enterprises.

In 2011-12, the all-India unemployment rate was 2.2% — the last available figure on jobs, after which the survey was discontinued. The new periodic labor force surveys (PLFS) was conducted between July 2017 and June 2018 and the annual survey report compiled by the NSSO. This is the report that has been withheld by the government.

The NSSO report has been at the center of a controversy after two independent members of the National Statistical Commission, including acting chairman P.C. Mohanan, resigned Monday in protest against the government’s decision to withhold the NSSO report that was vetted by them in December.

Political fallout

Job invention and unemployment are now firmly back in focus ahead of the Lok Sabha elections with the Opposition using the data to discover the lack of job creation during the tenure of the Modi government.

After the report was published, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said on Twitter that the promise of 2 crore jobs by the Modi government had turned out to be a “cruel joke.”

Source: Twitter

Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), too, split into the Modi government.

“Modi had claimed that data is not there but he has created unprecedented number of jobs. The data is there but he is scared of the truth. India has never suffered as much as under his rule. Modi’s promise was of 10 crore new jobs,” he said.

Source: Twitter

“Youth unemployment at astoundingly high levels of 13-27%. Lives, Livelihoods lost under Modi government and our most valued asset, our youth put into misery. This has a direct impact on India’s future. Modi’s policies are to just help rich cronies. For the rest, it is Jumlas,” he added.

Source: Twitter

The government has not reacted to the news report on NSSO data so far.

On Wednesday, the Modi government had indicated that it will not release the NSSO report in its current form.

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