In one of the most significant monthly increases in the labour force excluding the lockdown period, 8.8 million joined the workforce in April 2022, totalling 437.2 million, compared to 428.4 million in March 2022, a Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) report shows.

Though it was one of the biggest additions to the labour force, the number was still insufficient because of high demand. "This is one of the largest monthly increases in the labour force if we exclude the lockdown impacted months when the movement in and out of the labour markets was extraordinarily high," the report adds.

The number assumes significance since the labour force either increased or decreased by 2 million during half of the months of the year. December also saw maximum expansion at 8 million. "In comparison to this record, the 8.8 million expansion of the labour force in April 2022 is extraordinarily high," the report adds.

The spike in the workforce could have been possible only if a large part of the working-age people, who were out of the job joined the workforce in April. The analysis shows the January-March period was labour moving away from markets and joined back in April.

In April, India's employment expanded by a massive 7 million to 403 million after three months of a decline during the previous three consecutive months. With around 8.8 million rises in the workforce and 7 million net addition in employment, 1.8 million counts in unemployed, says the report.

Jobs increased across industry and services sectors. While the agricultural sector shed 5.2 million jobs, industry and services added 5.5 million and 6.7 million jobs in the month. Mining and utilities also saw a dip in employment, which coincide with the shortage of coal and the crisis in the power sector. In manufacturing, metals, chemicals and cement added jobs, while in the services sector, retail, hotels and restaurants were the lead segments that added the most jobs, the shows the data.

However, the jobs across industry and services are unlikely to be better quality jobs, and most of these additions were among daily wage labourers and small traders. The CMIE data shows the number of salaried professions is hovering between high 70 million and high 80 million since July 2021, and that the number averaged between 79 million during March and April.

During FY22, the average number of salaried jobs could be around 81 million, while the number before the pandemic stood at 87 million, the data shows.

While the country saw massive addition in new workforce joining the labour force, unemployment too increased to 7.83% in April compared to 7.57% in March, the CMIE data shows. While urban employment rose to 9.22% vs 8.28% in March, rural employment surged to 7.18% from 7.24% in March 2022.

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