October 2019: Unemployment rises

India’s unemployment rate in October rose to 8.5%, the highest since August 2016, and up from 7.2% in September, according to data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy , reflecting the impact of a slowdown in the economy.

India’s infrastructure output fell 5.2% in September from a year earlier, the worst performance in years, government data showed on Thursday, while the industrial output shrank at its fastest rate in more than six years in August. In August 2016, the jobless rate stood higher at 9.59%.

On the flip side, employment in the country increased by 25 lakh between May and September 2019, compared to the same period last year. Last year, the total employment figure stood at 40.24 crore people in these months which increased to 40.49 crore in the same period this year.

The jobless data is in consonance with core data released on Thursday. Output of eight core infrastructure industries contracted by 5.2 per cent in September, the lowest in the decade, indicating the severity of economic slowdown.

As many as seven of eight core industries saw a contraction in output in September. Coal production fell steeply by 20.5 per cent, crude oil by 5.4 per cent, and natural gas by 4.9 per cent. Refinery products (-6.7 per cent), cement (- 2.1 per cent), steel (-0.3 per cent), and electricity (-3.7 per cent) output too declined.

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