The country’s unemployment rate was at a 45-year-high of 6.1% in 2017-18, according to the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO’s) periodic labour force survey (PLFS). A news report claimed that the NSSO survey for 2017-18, the first conducted after demonetisation, showed a sharp spike in joblessness in the country. The report claimed that the NSSO figures show that unemployment rate, which was 2.2 per cent in 2011-12, rose to 6 per cent.
According to the report, which has not been made public but has been accessed by Business Standard, the unemployment rate was at its highest level since 1972-73.
The report says in 2011-12, the unemployment rate stood at 2.2 per cent and youth unemployment is at “astronomically high” levels of 13 to 27 per cent. Joblessness was higher in urban areas (7.8 per cent) than in the rural areas (5.3 per cent).
More people are withdrawing from the workforce as the labour force participation rate is lower than in the previous years
The NSSO’s annual household survey of 2017-18 is the first after the November 2016 demonetisation, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared an overnight ban on high-value notes.
The report is at the core of a controversy over the quitting of two members of the National Statistical Commission, including its acting chairman PC Mohanan. He confirmed that one of the reasons why he quit was the delay in the release of the National Sample Survey Office’s Periodic Labour Force Survey report.
The government today said the “timing and verification has to be done”. It added: “We have our process and we have explained to the members.” It did agree that the data showed jobs had been reduced.
Rahul Gandhi attacks PM Modi
Congress president Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi referring to his pre-2014 Lok Sabha election promise of “2 crore jobs”. Rahul Gandhi said the promise has turned into “a National Disaster” in five years.
“NoMo Jobs!” Rahul Gandhi wrote on Twitter adding, “The Fuhrer (a term used by Nazi Germany for its ruler Adolf Hitler) promised us 2 Cr jobs a year. 5 years later, his leaked job creation report card reveals a National Disaster.”
“Unemployment is at its highest in 45 yrs…6.5 Cr youth are jobless in 2017-18 alone. Time for NoMo2Go,” tweeted Rahul Gandhi.
Responding to Rahul Gandhi’s charge, the BJP said the Congress president “has myopic understanding of issues”. The BJP claimed that the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) data on job creation show “sharp increase” in employment generation. The party also called the report claiming unemployment at a very high level as “Fake News”.
“It’s clear that he has inherited Mussolini’s shortsightedness and has myopic understanding of issues. EPFO’s real data shows sharp increase in jobs, created in just the last 15 months. Only a man who hasn’t ever held a proper job and is totally jobless can peddle such #FakeNews,” the BJP wrote on Twitter replying to Rahul Gandhi’s post on the micro-blogging site.