According to the Periodic Labour Survey Froce Survey (PLFS) 2017-2018 report by NSSO, at least 3.2 crore casual labourers have lost their jobs in rural India between 2011-12 to 2017-18.

The data, which the government has declined to release, shows a 29.9 percent drop when compared to the previous survey, reported Indian Express on Thursday, 21 March. Out of the 3.2 crore labourers, three crore worked on farms.

In agriculture, the share of rural households, with income mostly derived from casual labour, has decreased by 10 percent point since 2011-12. This indicates a plunge of 15 million families who depended on casual farm work.

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The report, which has been approved by the National Statistical Commission in December 2018, is yet to be released by the government.

It was reported earlier in February, India’s unemployment rate was at a 45-year high of 6.1 percent during 2017-18, according to the periodic labour force survey (PLFS), as reported Business Standard.

The unemployment rate in India was at its highest in 2017-18 since 1972-73, the period since data about jobs is comparable, Business Standard said, quoting documents they had accessed.

The NSSO survey reportedly showed that at 7.8 percent, joblessness is higher in the urban areas of the country than in rural parts, where it was 5.3 percent. Among urban males aged between 15 and 29, unemployment stood at 18.7 percent, as opposed to 8.1 in 2011-12.

In March, Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) compiled the data on unemployment rate an their survey stated that the unemployment rate in India was at 7.2 percent in February 2019, the highest since September 2016.

Mahesh Vyas, head of the think tank told Reuters that unemployment rate has risen despite a fall in the number of job seekers. He also said that the number of employed persons in India was estimated at 400 million in February compared with 406 million last year.

(With inputs from Business Standard, Indian Express)

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