The unemployment rate in urban areas decreased to 6.6% for persons aged 15 years and above in the July-September period in CY23, according to data released by the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) under the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). In contrast to this, the unemployment rate during the July-September quarter last year stood at 7.2%.

The male unemployment rate of persons aged 15 years and above stood at 6% in the September quarter, as against 6.6% in the same period last year. The female unemployment rate of persons aged 15 years and above stood at 8.6% during the period under review, as against 9.4% in the same period last year.

"The report by the Government reveals a few important trends and concerns; the overall rise of women participation in the workforce is attributed to a significant rise of women labour in the Agri sector whereas the secondary sector has seen some drop in the numbers. As organisations started to move back to work-from-offices again, the women workforce is facing higher challenges than their male counterparts owing to the fact that they need to rebalance their domestic responsibilities with office timings," says Shantanu Rooj, founder and CEO, TeamLease Edtech.

"Moreover, the new world of work expects candidates to continuously pick up new skills and demonstrate both productivity and resilience. We believe that this temporary dip shall get repaired in the coming quarters through a combination recipe - these aspirants picking up new skills and also being more open to in-office and hybrid work environments," he adds.

Meanwhile, the labour force participation rate (LFPR) for persons aged 15 years and above in Q3 stood at 49.3% as against 47.9% in the same period last year. The LFPR in the April quarter stood at 45.5%.

The LFPR is defined as the percentage of persons in the labour force (i.e. working or seeking or available for work) in the population. Of this, LFPR amongst the male population increased to 73.8% during the period under review as against 73.4% in the same period last year. The LFPR amongst females increased to 24% in the September quarter as against 21.7% in the same period last year.

Notably, the worker-population ratio (WPR) in the September quarter stood at 46% as against 44.5% in the same period last year. The WPR is defined as the percentage of employed persons in the population. The WPR in the April quarter stood at 45.5%. The WPR amongst males stood at 69.4% in the September quarter as against 68.6% in the same period last year. The WPR amongst the female population increased to 21.9% during the period under review as against 19.7% in the same period last year.

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