Bengal's 6.5% jobless rate in June 'far better' than that of India: Mamata

Topics Coronavirus | West Bengal | Lockdown

The state government had allowed 100 per cent deployment of the workforce in tea gardens and jute mills from June 1

West Bengal's unemployment rate of 6.5 per cent in June was "far better" than the national average, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Saturday, citing a report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).

According to the report, West Bengal's unemployment rate stood at 6.5 per cent last month, while the figure for the country was at 11 per cent.

This is an outcome of the economic strategy adopted by the state government to tackle the Covid-19 crisis and the devastation caused by cyclone Amphan, Banerjee said.

"We've implemented a robust economic strategy to tackle #COVID19 and the devastation caused by Amphan. Proof lies in West Bengal's unemployment rate for the month of June 2020 which stands at 6.5 per cent, far better than that of India at 11 per cent, UP at 9.6 per cent and Haryana at 33.6 per cent, as per CMIE," she said in a tweet.

The state government had allowed 100 per cent deployment of the workforce in tea gardens and jute mills from June 1.

Business establishments, manufacturing units and traders were given green signal to resume their activities with strict adherence to social distancing and other safety norms, while shopping malls and restaurants had resumed operations in the state on June 8 after a gap of over two months.

The state government had extended the lockdown till July 31 with a slew of relaxations.

According to data released by the CMIE on Wednesday, the country's unemployment rate fell to 11 per cent in June from 23.5 per cent in May, as the economic activities resumed after the lockdown restrictions were eased.

The unemployment rate in West Bengal last month had dipped to 6.5 per cent from 17 per cent in May, the CMIE report said.

The urban unemployment rate across the country remained at 12.02 per cent in June and that of rural was 10.52 per cent, the data suggested.

Asked how the unemployment rate in West Bengal has fallen in spite of the fact that the lockdown was partially in force, former professor of ISI Kolkata Abhirup Sarkar said that some economic activities had started during the month.

He said many skilled labourers had returned to the state due to the reverse migration and the entrepreneurs started hiring them, while trading and manufacturing activities received a fillip.

Sarkar said the flip side of this drop in the unemployment rate is that people had accepted low-paid jobs out of desperation.

As per the data, the unemployment rate in Gujarat was 2.8 per cent in June and 2.1 per cent in Andhra Pradesh.

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