The country's unemployment rate in urban areas for persons of age 15 years and above slowed to 7.6% during April-June quarter of 2022-23 on an increase in economic activities after removal of the Covid-19 curbs, shows the Periodic Labour Force Survey released by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation for April-June 2022.

The unemployment rate -- the percentage of persons unemployed among the persons in the labour force -- in urban areas for persons of this age group stood at 8.2% in the previous quarter.

For males, the unemployment rate declined to 7.1% during April-June as compared to 7.7% during the previous quarter. For females of 15 years and above, the unemployment in urban areas was 9.5%, a drop from 10.1% in the previous quarter.

On an year-on-year basis, the unemployment rate in urban areas, for people aged 15 years and above, saw massive decline. During the Covid-hit period, the April-June 2021-22 unemployment was 12.6% -- 12.2% for males and 14.3% for females.

The unemployment rate has since then dropped consistently to 9.8% in July-Sept 2021-22, 8.7% in October-December 2021-22, and 8.2% in January-March 2021-22.

The labour force participation rate (LFPR) improved marginally to 47.5% during April-June 2022 as compared to 47.3% during the previous January-March quarter of FY22. The labour force participation for males also improved marginally to 73.5% from 73.4% during the previous quarter. For females, the LFPR increased to 20.9% from 20.4% during the previous quarter.

LFPR is defined as the percentage of persons in the labour force i.e. working or seeking or available for work in the population.

The worker participation rate (WPR) in urban areas, for persons of age 15 years and above, has also shown a consistent rise in the past 15 months. During April-June 2022-23, the WPR -- the percentage of employed persons in the population -- was 43.9%, up from 43.4% during the previous period. For males, the WPR was 68.3% during the period, up from 67.7%, while the WPR increased to 18.9% during Q1 FY23 from 18.3% in the previous period.

The objective of PLFS is to estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only, and to estimate these indicators in both rural and urban areas annually.

In terms of sample size, at the all-India level, in the urban areas, a total number of 5,721 first-stage sampling units (FSUs) have been surveyed during the quarter April – June 2022. The number of urban households surveyed was 44,660 and the number of persons surveyed was 1,73,271 in urban areas.

Rising unemployment continues to remain one of the major obstacles in India's growth story. The country's unemployment rate in August 2022 rose significantly to 8.28% from 6.80% in July 2022, with a rise in unemployment in both rural and urban areas, private think tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) data shows.

CMIE CEO Mahesh Vyas says India has among the lowest youth employment rates. "There is no dearth of capital in the world today. Ideally, India should be grabbing this rare opportunity of easy availability of labour and capital to fuel rapid growth. However, it seems to be missing this bus."

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