Employment increased by 8.5 million in September, led by the salaried jobs category, as the unemployment rate declined to 6.9 per cent during the month, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) said on Friday.
“Jobs increased by 8.5 million during the month. The unemployment rate declined from 8.3 per cent in August to 6.9 per cent in September, the highest in 20 months or since the Covid-19 shock in March 2020,” CMIE’s MD and CEO Mahesh Vyas said in his analysis.
The labour participation rate increased from 40.5 per cent to 40.7 per cent and the employment rate inched up from 37.2 per cent to 37.9 per cent.
The best part of the increase in employment in September was the increase in salaried jobs, the analysis noted, adding that these increased by 6.9 million.
The employment in salaried jobs increased to 84.1 million in September from 77.1 million in August.
“Of all the major occupation groups, salaried jobs saw the biggest increase. This big jump in September brings salaried jobs the closest to their average in 2019-20, which was 86.7 million.
“Employment among daily wage workers and small traders also increased by a substantial 5.5 million, from 128.4 million in August to 134 million in September. With this, employment as daily wage labourers or small traders has crossed the pre-pandemic level of 130.5 million in 2019-20,” Vyas said.
The number of farm jobs fell from 116 million in August to 113.6 million in September, implying that some non-farm jobs which were lost earlier have been revived.
“This is likely to have happened as we see a big increase in employment in the construction industry in October. Employment in this industry shot up by 5.5 million in September. Some of this could be a migration of farmers back to construction sites,” Vyas observed.
Employment in manufacturing industries increased by 2.9 million. Most of this (about 2.5 million) was in food industries, as per the analysis.
“This lends credence to our conjecture that some farmers have repaired with their erstwhile salaried jobs, possibly in food processing industries,” Vyas added.
However, Vyas said, employment in the IT industry declined from 3.3 million in 2017-18 to 2.3 million in 2018-19 and then to 1.8 million in 2019-20.
Employment had inched up to 2 million in May-June but was down again to around 1.8 million by September.
Similarly, reports of the gradual opening up of the educational sector also did not show much effect on employment in the sector.
Education employs a significant 10 million, but this is still much lower than the nearly 15 million it employed in 2019-20, it stated.
The education sector could deliver the largest increase in employment once the sector opens up, Vyas added.