Joblessness hits 21% in first wave

Unemployment rate had reached 20.8 percent in Q1 of 2020 when India had witnessed a nationwide lockdown.

The Union Labour Ministry told the Parliament on Monday that unemployment rate had reached 20.8 per cent in urban India in the April-June quarter 2020 when India witnessed two months of stringent nationwide lockdown due to the spread of the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic.


Labour minister Bhupender Yadav in response to a question in Lok Sabha, quoted the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) and said the complete picture of employment and unemployment situation in India can only be assessed from survey data for the entire year covering both rural and urban areas.


Bhupender Yadav also said, “The annual PLFS data is available up to 2018-19. As per the results of annual PLFS, the unemployment rate for persons of 15 years and above on usual status (principal status + subsidiary status) basis in the country to the extent available during 2017-18 and 2018-19 was 6.0% and 5.8%, respectively."


The labour ministry also said government has taken a number of initiatives to boost employment in the country through schemes like Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana that offers Employees Provident Fund(EPF) subsidy.


The government will be paying 24per cent of EPF dues, 12 per cent each that would otherwise be paid by employees and employers. This is also applicable for new employees with monthly wage less than rupees fifteen thousand.


An employee will pay 12 per cent of his basic wage and part of some allowances as statutory EPF deductions every month.


This will be only applicable to the firms employing up to thousand workers. Companies where the headcount is more than thousand, then the government will pay only the 12 per cent share of the employees.


New employees under the scheme include those who have lost their employment during coronavirus pandemic and haven't join any EPF covered establishment up to 30 September, 2020. The final date for registration under the scheme has been extended from 30 June, 2021 to 31 March, 2022.

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