The country's unemployment rate for persons aged 15 years and above dipped to a six-year low of 3.2% during July 2022-June 2023, according to the Periodic Labour Force Survey Annual Report 2022-2023 released by the National Sample Survey Office.

The unemployment rate for the so-called “usual status”, for persons of age 15 years and above, was 4.1% during the same period in the previous year (2021-22); 4.2% in 2020-21; 4.8% in 2019-20; 5.8% in 2018-19; and 6.0% in 2017-18, the NSSO data shows.

The unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of persons unemployed among the persons in the labour force. Under the usual status, the activity status of a person is determined on the basis of the activities pursued by the person during the specified reference period i.e. 365 days preceding the date of the survey. 

During 2022-23, the unemployment rate in both rural and urban areas dipped to 2.4% and 5.4%, respectively. It was 3.2% and 6.3%, respectively, in the previous year.

If considered for the past five-year period, in rural areas, the unemployment rate decreased from 5.3% in 2017-18 to 2.4% in 2022-23, while for urban areas it decreased from 7.7% to 5.4%. For males, it dipped from 6.1% to 3.3% and for females, from 5.6% to 2.9% during the said period.

The decreasing trend in unemployment rate for persons of age 15 years and above, shows in rural areas, the rate dipped from 8.4% in 2017-18 to 4.4% in 2022-23 while for urban areas it decreased 9.5% to 7%. For males, it dipped from 8.7% to 5.1% and for females, it eased from 9% to 5.1%.

For this year, the unemployment rate in the country's urban areas decreased from 7.6% in April-June 2022 to 6.6% in April-June 2023 for persons of age 15 years and above. For male, it decreased from 7.1% to 5.9% during this period and for female, it decreased from 9.5% to 9.1% during this period.

The key findings of periodic labour force survey (PLFS) annual report 2022-2023 shows in rural areas, the labour force participation rate surged from 50.7% in 2017-18 to 60.8% in 2022-23, while for urban areas it increased from 47.6% to 50.4%. For males, the rate surged from 75.8% to 78.5% and for females, from 23.3% to 37% during the said five-year period.

In rural areas, worker population ratio (WPR) increased from 48.1% in 2017-18 to 59.4% in 2022-23, while it increased from 43.9% to 47.7% for urban areas. For male, it increased from 71.2% to 76% and for females, from 22% to 35.9% during the said period.

Indicating the increasing trend in labour force participation rate, for persons of age 15 years and above, the NSSO data shows in rural areas, it increased from 48.9% in 2017-18 to 56.7% in 2022-23, while for urban areas it increased from 47.1% to 49.4%. Among males, the rate surged from 75.1% to 77.4% and from 21.1% to 31.6% among females.

Similarly, the increasing trend in the worker population ratio (WPO), for persons of age 15 years and above, shows in rural areas, the WPO increased from 44.8% in 2017-18 to 54.2% in 2022-23, while for urban areas it increased from 42.6% to 46%. For males, it increased from 68.6% to 73.5% and for females, it surged from 19.2% to 30%.

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