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India's unemployment rate rises to 3-year high of 8.5% in October: CMIE

India's unemployment rate rose to a three-year high of 8.48 per cent in October, up from 7.2 per cent in September, says the data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) on Friday. The unemployment rate for the month is highest since August 2016, reflecting an overall economic downturn in the country. The unemployment rate in September was 7.16 per cent, while it was 8.19 per cent in August. The last time the unemployment rate was higher was in August 2016 at 9.59 per cent.

However, employment in India increased by 25 lakh between May and September 2019, the CMIE data said. As per CMIE data, an estimated 40.49 crore persons were employed in India during May-August 2019, compared to 40.24 crore people employed during these months a year ago. This translates to 25 lakh additional jobs, indicating a healthy sign because during the same period in the last two years employment had fallen. "Employment during May-August 2018 was 55 lakh lower than it was in May-August 2017 which, in turn, was 6 lakh lower than it was in May-August 2016," the CMIE report highlighted.

According to CMIE, if labour continues to face a rising unemployment rate, and poor employment opportunities, it may start getting discouraged from entering the labour markets.

Meanwhile, output of eight core infrastructure industries contracted by 5.2 per cent in September, the lowest in the decade. As many as seven of the eight core industries saw a contraction in output in September. Coal production fell steeply by 20.5 per cent, crude oil by 5.4 per cent, and natural gas by 4.9 per cent. Refinery products (-6.7 per cent), cement (- 2.1 per cent), steel (-0.3 per cent), and electricity (-3.7 per cent) output too declined.

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