India’s unemployment rate in 2017-18 was at a 45-year high of 6.1%, a leaked government survey has revealed.

According to a report on the Business Standard, the National Sample Survey Office’s periodic labour force survey (PLFS) showed that unemployment went up in the period following demonetisation, the highest since 1972-73. Compare to this, the rate was 2.2% in 2011-12.

Unemployment was highest among the youth, the report said. Among rural male youth (aged 15-29) it went from 5% in 2011-12 to 17.4% in 2017-18. The change was from  4.8% in 2011-12 to 13.6% in 2017-18 among rural women of the same age.

“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,” it said, according to the report.

The Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) — a measure of people looking for jobs — went down from 39.5% in 2011-12 to 36.9% in 2017-18.

“The data from July-October 2017 can only be compared to data from July-October 2018,” NITI Aayog VC Dr Rajiv Kumar said.

The NITI Aayog, however, said that it was “not correct” to compare the data with the 2011-12 NSSO data. Citing figures from various reports (McKinsey, EPFO data), he claimed that at least 7 to 7.7 million jobs were being created yearly.

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