The unemployment rate is higher among urban women as was the case before the pandemic.

Government data shows better headline employment figures, but some numbers are a cause for concern.

The unemployment rate at 4.1 per cent for 2021-2022 is lower than 5.8 per cent witnessed in 2018-2019, according to the latest Periodic Labour Force Survey annual report for the 12 months ended June 2022.

The nature of this pick-up in employment shows lingering effects of the pandemic.

The share of manufacturing in employment has risen since the previous report, but at 11.6 per cent it is lower than the 12.1 per cent seen in 2018-2019.

People often turn to farming when other jobs are not available.

The share of agriculture is also higher at 45.5 per cent in 2021-22 compared to 42.5 per cent in 2018-2019.

The report classifies a larger share of people as self-employed.

A smaller segment has jobs that provide regular salary or wages.

The share of self-employed persons in 2021-2022 is 55.8 per cent, compared to 52.1 per cent in 2018-2019.

The share of those getting a regular wage or salary has dropped to 21.5 per cent from 23.8 per cent in the same period.

Those with a regular wage have fewer benefits from their employers. A greater share of them has no social security benefit than in 2018-2019.

The dependency ratio has shown an uptick.

It is a measure of the working-age population relative to those who are dependent on them, suggesting more pressure on the employed amid recent economic turmoil.

Some of the signs of this distress are perhaps also seen in more women looking for any work they can find, reversing many years of a falling female labour force participation rate.

Though it’s still harder for women to find work than men, participation rates appear more pronounced in rural rather than urban areas.

The participation rate includes those looking for work in addition to those working.

The unemployment rate is a measure of those who are unemployed among the people available for work.

The unemployment rate is higher among urban women as was the case before the pandemic.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/

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