A large number of people in the agriculture sector became unemployed, driving up the rate in rural areas from 6.62% in May to 8.03% in June, while the rate increased from 7.12% in May to 7.30% in June in the urban areas.

The unemployment rate increased as 13 million jobs were lost in the country. However, the number of unemployed people went up only by 3 million, as the other 10 million “exited the labour market”

CMIE data showed that unemployment was the highest in Haryana at 30.06%, followed by Rajasthan at 29.8%, Assam, J&K at 17.2%, and Bihar at 14%.

According to 2021 data from the World Bank, only 43% of India’s working age population has a job. The figure is lower than that of Bangladesh at 54%. Even Pakistan manages to do better at 48%.

News agency PTI quoted CMIE managing director Mahesh Vyas as saying, “This is the biggest fall in employment during a non-lockdown month. However, this is a seasonal phase when there is a lull in agricultural activities in rural areas and it is most likely to be reversed in July when the sowing begins.” 

Vyas added, “It is worrisome that such large swathes of labour are so vulnerable to the vagaries of the monsoon.”

Talking about the 2.5 million salaried jobs that were lost in June, Vyas stated, “June also exposed the growing vulnerability of salaried jobs. The government shrunk the demand for armed personnel and opportunities in private equity-funded new-world jobs also started to shrink. The rain god cannot save these jobs. The economy needs to grow at a faster pace than it may in the near future to save and generate such jobs.”

NDTV quoted Dr Nitya Nand, Director and Economist at the Council for Social Development, as saying, “In my view, the unemployment rate in June 2022 is higher than in June 2019 which is a matter of concern. In my view, we have not yet come out of the impact of COVID-19.”