New Delhi: In 2017-18, the country’s unemployment rate stood at a 45-year high of 6.1%, Business Standard has quoted the National Sample Survey Office’s periodic labour force survey (PLFS) as saying.

This report is one of the reasons why two expert members – including the acting chairman – of the National Statistical Commission resigned on Monday, as the government had not released the numbers despite the commission’s approval.

This data was collected by the NSSO between July 2017 and June 2018 – and is the first official survey that at the country’s employment situation after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of high-value currency notes in November 2016.

According to Business Standard, the report states that unemployment was last this high in 1972-73. To compare, the unemployment rate in the country had gone down to 2.2% in 2011-12, according to NSSO data.

Youth unemployment was much higher in 2017-18 than in previous years, according to the government report, and “much higher compared to that in the overall population”.

Joblessness for rural male youth (aged 15-29) went from 5% in 2011-12 to 17.4% in 2017-18. For rural women in the same age group, joblessness went from 4.8% in 2011-12 to 13.6% in 2017-18, according to Business Standard.

The same was true for educated people: “For educated rural females, the unemployment rate ranged from 9.7 per cent to 15.2 per cent during 2004-05 to 2011-12 which rose to 17.3 per cent in 2017-18,” the newspaper quoted the NSSO report as saying.

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