Nearly 50 lakh people in India lost their jobs between 2016-2018, a report said highlighting that the “beginning of the decline” coincided with demonetisation, although “no direct causal relationship could be established” between the trends.

The report by Azim Premji University’s titled State of Working India was based on the CMIE-CPDX data that highlighted India’s unemployed were mostly the youth.

“In general, women are much worse affected than men. They have higher unemployment rates, as well as lower labour force participation rates,” it added.

The report revealed that unemployment, in general, has risen steadily post 2011. Both the Periodic Labour Force Survey and the CMIE-CPDX report the overall unemployment rate to be around 6 per cent in 2018, double of what it was in the decade from 2000 to 2011.”

“Among urban women, graduates are 10 per cent of the working age population but 34 per cent of the unemployed. The age group 20-24 years is hugely over-represented among the unemployed.

“Among urban men, for example, this age group accounts for 13.5 per cent of the working age population but 60 per cent of the unemployed.”

Besides, the report noted that “in addition to rising open unemployment among the higher educated, the less educated (and likely, informal) workers have also seen job losses and reduced work opportunities since 2016.

Earlier in February, the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO’s) periodic labour force survey (PLFS) had stated that India’s unemployment rate hit a 45-year high of 6.1 per cent in 2017.

The NSSO report was reportedly based on data collected between July 2017 and June 2018 and is the first official survey post-demonetisation.

However, the NITI Aayog debunked claims of jobless growth saying that the report was not a final one.

Earlier, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) had stated that 1.5 million jobs were lost just in the first four months of 2017—immediately after demonetisation of old 500 and 1000 rupee notes.

The issue hogged the limelight after two independent members of the National Statistical Commission — acting Chairman PC Mohanan and JV Meenakshi — resigned on January 28 over a disagreement with the Government on certain issues.

One issue pertains to the government withholding the release of the results of NSSO’s quinquennial survey, for the year 2017-18 even though the commission approved the report. This gains significance in the wake of the government being criticised for a scarcity of jobs in the country.

(With agency inputs)