Amid Covid-19 pandemic, unemployment rate in urban areas shot up to 13.3 per cent in July-September 2020 from 8.4 per cent in the corresponding period a year ago, the quarterly Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on Monday showed.
Urban unemployment was recorded at 20.9 per cent in April-June 2020, 9.1 per cent in January-March 2020, 7.9 per cent in October-December 2019, 8.4 per cent in July-September 2019 and 8.9 per cent in April-June 2019.
Urban unemployment in the age group 15-29 years was 27.7 per cent in July-September 2020 as against 20.6 per cent in July-September 2019 and 34.7 per cent in April-June. Female unemployment rate was recorded at 15.8 per cent in July-September, up from 9.7 per cent in the corresponding period a year ago and but lower than 21.2 per cent in the previous quarter. For urban males, it was at 12.6 per cent in July-September as against 8.0 per cent in July-September 2019 and 20.8 per cent in the previous April-June quarter.
As per the survey, labour force participation rate for all ages was 37 per cent in July-September 2020, up from 36.8 per cent in the same period a year ago. It was 35.9 per cent in April-June 2020. Workforce Participation Rate stood at 32.1 per cent in July-September 2020, down from 33.7 per cent in the same period a year ago. It was 28.4 per cent in April-June 2020.
Unemployment data for urban areas is released quarterly based on current weekly status. This dataset differs from the Annual Report of Periodic Labour Force Survey, which covers both rural and urban areas and gives estimates of employment and unemployment in both usual status (ps+ss) and CWS. The estimate of unemployed persons in CWS give an average picture of unemployment in a short period of 7 days during the survey period. In the CWS approach, a person is considered unemployed if he/she did not work even for 1 hour on any day during the week but sought or was available for work at least for 1 hour on any day during the period.
The fieldwork for PLFS was suspended from March 18, 2020 but was then resumed on June 1, 2020. The schedules in the fieldwork were undertaken in telephonic mode, which was adopted in order to minimise the physical interaction with informants due to Covid-19 pandemic, it said.
The sample size was the lowest compared to the previous four quarters and consisted of 1.70 lakh people and 43,257 households in the July-September quarter compared with 1.71 lakh people and 43,269 households in April-June.