India’s Unemployment rate for December Hits Record 7.9 %, Highest Since August 2021

India’s Unemployment rate for December Hits Record 7.9 %, Highest Since August 2021

India’s unemployment rate hit a four-month high in December, data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) stated.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.9% in December from 7.0% in November, its highest since 8.3% in August.

Economic activity and consumer sentiment have been hit in the South Asian nation after a rise in cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant and social distancing restrictions in many states.


Urban unemployment rate rose to 9.3% in December from 8.2% in the previous month while the rural unemployment rate was up 7.3% from 6.4%, the data showed.

Many economists worry that the Omicron variant could reverse the economic recovery seen in the previous quarter.

Mumbai-based CMIE data on unemployment is closely watched by economists and policymakers as the government doesn’t release monthly figures.

Degree-holders working as drain cleaners

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed millions into unemployment across the world. In India, young men with college degrees are forced to work as drain cleaners due to the lack of jobs.

Some men who have college degrees are working as “nullah” (drain) cleaners in the Mumbra area near Thane in Maharashtra.


A group of around 20 persons from Diva in the district has been hired by a private contractor for nullah cleaning which is undertaken every year to prevent flooding during the monsoon.

Among them were some well-educated young men, according to a June 2021 report.

Some of them had white-collar jobs which they lost during the pandemic.

In the first three months of 2021, the unemployment rate in India among those above the age of 15 was around 10 per cent, data from the periodic labour force survey by the National Statistical Office (NSO) showed.

The unemployment rate among women rose to 11.8 per cent in January-March 2021 from 10.6 per cent a year ago. It was 13.1 per cent in October-December 2020.

For men ( urban area) the unemployment rate was at 8.6 per cent in January-March 2021 compared to a year ago. It was 9.5 per cent in October-December 2020.

Joblessness or unemployment rate (UR) is defined as the percentage of unemployed persons in the labour force.