India's unemployment rate jumped to 27.11 per cent for the week ended May 3 from 6.74 per cent in the week ended March 15, as per the data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).
The data also showed some 121.5 million Indians had lost their jobs in April. These alarming figures come at a time when all economic activities have been put on hold amid the nation-wide lockdown imposed on March 24 to curb the spread of COVID-19. Several analysts and economists have predicted a drastic fall in the country's GDP for this financial year with employment in MSMEs and unorganised sector facing a major hit.
The unemployment rate was at its peak in the urban areas, which majorly included red zones at 29.22 per cent, as compared to 26.16 per cent in the rural areas, the Mumbai-based think tank found.
In the previous week ended April 26, the urban unemployment rate was at 21.45 per cent while the rural unemployment rate stood at 20.88 per cent.
The monthly unemployment rate in April was recorded at 23.52 per cent, high from March's 8.74 per cent, data showed.
The weekly series of data released by CMIE points to an increase in unemployment since the outbreak of COVID-19 in India, with the week to March 29 showing the steepest jump to 23.81 per cent.
According to the state-wise data as of April-end, Puducherry had the maximum unemployment at 75.8 per cent, followed by Tamil Nadu at 49.8 per cent, Jharkhand at 47.1 per cent and Bihar at 46.6 per cent.
Maharashtra's unemployment rate stood at 20.9 per cent, while Haryana recorded 43.2 per cent of unemployment, Uttar Pradesh at 21.5 per cent and Karnataka at 29.8 per cent.
Among the hilly state, which recorded the lowest unemployment, Himachal Pradesh stood at 2.2 per cent, Sikkim at 2.3 per cent and Uttarakhand at 6.5 per cent.