India’s unemployment rate rose to a four-month high of nearly 8% in April, and the outlook remains weak with state administrations extending lockdowns to curb a record surge in virus cases. Unemployment increased to 7.97% from 6.5% in March, with more than seven million jobs lost last month, according to data from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt., a private research firm.
“There is a fall in the jobs available. This could be due to the lockdowns,” CMIE Managing Director Mahesh Vyas said by telephone. “Since the virus is still quite intense and we are stressed on the medical health-services front, it’s likely that the situation will remain tense in May as well.”
Daily Covid-19 deaths in India hit a record 3,689 Sunday. The number of new cases slowed slightly Monday after India on Saturday became the first country to register more than 400,000 daily cases.
The weak employment outlook is a risk for India’s chances of reaching double-digit economic growth this year. Many economists already have lowered their projections, while several are warning of possible reductions if provincial curbs are extended further.