With elections just days away, a post is being shared widely on both WhatsApp and Twitter claiming that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is responsible for bringing down unemployment rate in the UP from 17.5% in 2017 when he first came into power, to 4.2% in the current month. The viral post credits the CMIE( Centre For Monitoring Indian Economy) as the source of the data. A quick verification by Newschecker has found the claim to be misleading.
Similar claims were also reported by the newspaper The Pioneer, quoting UP minister Sidharth Nath Singh. The article quotes Singh as saying, “When the Yogi government took over in 2017, the unemployment rate was 17.5 per cent in UP, three times more than the current rate.”
How is Unemployment Rate measured?
According to ILO, “the unemployment rate is calculated by expressing the number of unemployed persons as a percentage of the total number of persons in the labour force. The labour force (formerly known as the economically active population) is the sum of the number of persons employed and the number of persons unemployed. Thus, the measurement of the unemployment rate requires the measurement of both employment and unemployment.”
To ascertain the veracity of the claim, Newschecker referred to the monthly and quarterly unemployment data put out regularly by the CMIE.
CMIE documents show that the unemployment rate in March 2017, when Yogi Adityanath took over as the CM of Uttar Pradesh was actually 2.4%.
A comparison of unemployment data with the latest available figures (4.2%) indicate an increase in unemployment levels prevalent in the poll-bound state. The unemployment rate in Uttar Pradesh in 2017 was nowhere close to 17.5% as is being claimed.
Unemployment Rate In UP Since BJP Came To Power
The highest rate of unemployment in Uttar Pradesh under the BJP government since it came to power in 2017 stood at 21.5%, in the month of April 2020, followed by 20.4% in May 2020. This was during the early days of the pandemic when a lockdown was announced for 21 days in India. Migrant workers from across the major cities of the country were forced to walk back to their native states, principally to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Previously, the highest ever unemployment rate reported by UP stood at 18.0% in June 2016 followed by 17.1% in August 2016 under the Akhilesh Yadav government, which was followed by a gradual reduction through 2016 and early 2017.
During July 2017- June 2018, UP’s average unemployment rate in rural area was 5.5% and 9.7% in urban areas according to the Central government’s own Periodic Labour Force Survey published annually. Thus, on no counts was UP’s unemployment rate close to 17.5% in 2017.
While UP fared well in comparison with the national average for October 2021 (7.2%), not all is well in the UP government’s employment strategy with the number of unemployed persons actually going up drastically since Yogi govt took over.
According to CMIE’s latest report, the number of unemployed persons in UP has risen from about 40 lakh in January-April 2017 to nearly 56 lakh in May-August 2021. The associated rise in unemployment percentage is from 3.75% to 4.84%.
An article by Newsclick citing the same CMIE data, also points out that the labour participation in the state has dropped in comparison to 2017 (38.4% to 34.9%).
According to ILO, the labour force participation rate is calculated by expressing the number of persons in the labour force as a percentage of the working-age population. The labour force is the sum of the number of persons employed and the number of persons unemployed.
Thus, the claim that the unemployment rate in Uttar Pradesh was 17.5% when Yogi Adityanath took over in 2017 is false. The unemployment rate has in fact gone up and so has the number of unemployed.
Result: Misleading/Partly False