Unemployment climbs to 7.83% according to CMIE: Why are analysts skeptical?

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IndiaThe unemployment rate rose 0.23% in one month and stood at 7.83% in April, according to data from the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). The unemployment rate was 7.6% in March.

While the urban unemployment rate rose from 8.28% in March to 9.22% in April, the rural unemployment rate fell to 7.18% this month from 7.29% last month. Haryana posted the highest unemployment rate of 34.5%, followed by 28.8% in Rajasthan.

The reason given for the high levels of unemployment is that employment opportunities have been affected by sluggish domestic demand and the slow economic recovery amid rising prices.

However, economists do not seem particularly convinced by the figures and have claimed that it is difficult to get a real picture of unemployment from the CMIE’s methodology for obtaining data. It is important to stress here that data from the Mumbai-based CMIE is closely watched by economists and policymakers. This is all the more true since the government does not publish its own monthly figures.

According to a PTI report quoting economist Ajitava Roychowdhury, professor of economics at the University of Jadavpur, the CMIE conducts monthly surveys of more than 44,000 households in urban and rural areas of India, and the sector unorganized plays a major role in this. “If someone says on the day of the survey that they are doing something, for example peddling or picking rags, that person is considered an employee,” he reportedly said. However, this contradicts the standards set by the International Labor Organization (ILO) who said only those in “decent” jobs should be marked as employees.

And “decent work” according to the ILO encapsulates people’s aspirations in their working lives. The definition of “decent work” includes the paradigms of having a job that provides opportunities for productive work providing opportunities for personal development and social integration, in tandem with a fair income for work performed. Furthermore, it implies job security and social protection of the family. In short, it’s a satisfying job that most of us hope for in life. However, the CMIE data offers a quantitative perspective rather than the qualitative perspective advised by the ILO. Therefore, it is difficult to get a true picture of the CMIE, according to Roychowdhury.

The PTI report further cites a CMIE source as saying that the methodology followed by the agency is very strict. The surveys, which take place from morning to evening, cover all aspects. For example, we ask a person who is not sure if they have an occupation during the day if they had one the day before. If the answer is “no”, the source said the worker is classified as “unemployed”.

And this fluctuation, experts say, is normal in a mature economy like India’s. Taking into account the element of statistical error, it is not easy to come to a conclusion about the real picture of the economy. Abhirup Sarkar, a retired professor from ISI Kolkata says that rural employment says of rural employment that since India is predominantly a poor country, people in rural areas tend to grab opportunities that come their way. their.

In addition, analysts add that the sample size of the CMIE which provides the monthly data is relatively smaller compared to NSSO. Also, the list of CMIE questionnaires is not comprehensive enough to predict the true state of Indian unemployment levels.

If these factors are taken into account, unemployment figures in India would benefit from government figures which could offer a more objective perspective.

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