The country’s unemployment rate was at a 45-year-high of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18, according to the National Sample Survey Office's (NSSO) periodic labour force survey, which has been accessed by Business Standard newspaper.
The report, which has not been made public yet, is at the centre of controversy after two National Statistical Commission (NSC) members - P C Mohanan and J V Meenakshi - quit on Tuesday citing delays in the release of the report as one of the reasons for the decisions.
According to the report, the unemployment rate in 2017-18 was at its highest level since 1972-73, the period since when the jobs data is comparable.
In 2011-12, the unemployment rate stood at 2.2 per cent, according to the NSSO survey.
According to Business Standard report, joblessness for rural male youth (aged 15-29) went from 5 per cent in 2011-12 to 17.4 per cent in 2017-18. For rural women in the same age group, joblessness went from 4.8 per cent in 2011-12 to 13.6 per cent in 2017-18
Stating that the NSC had recommended to release the employment report in January 2019, Mohanan had said the members were sidelined and were "unable to discharge" duties.
Speaking to PTI, Mohanan had said: "I have resigned from NSC. We thought that the Commission is not very effective nowadays and we also thought that we are not able to discharge the Commission's responsibility".
Issuing a clarification, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on Wednesday said: "These concerns were not expressed by the members in any of the meetings of the Commission in the last few months."
The ministry, it further added, values the advice of NSC and takes appropriate action.
Referring to the issues concerning labour force survey, which is conducted by the NSSO under MoSPI, it said: "NSSO is processing the quarterly data for the period, July 2017 to December 2018, and the report will be released thereafter."
(With inputs from agencies)