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India's unemployment at record high amid tough COVID-19 lockdown

Overseas returnees face bleak job market as layoffs devastate workforce

India's migrant workers have been hit especially hard during the lockdown, with many forced to return to villages far from workplaces in the cities.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- More than 120 million workers in India, most of them small traders and daily wage earners, lost jobs in April as economic activity all but ceased after the new coronavirus pandemic forced a nationwide lockdown.

Data released this week by the Mumbai-based think tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy shows that unemployment shot up to 23.5% last month from 8.7% in March. In the week ended May 3, it jumped to 27.1%, the highest ever.

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