New Delhi: India's unemployment rate rose to 6.1% in the 2017-18 fiscal year, the statistics ministry said on Friday, matching data earlier leaked to a newspaper that said it was the highest level in at least 45 years.
The data was released a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn in for his second term. Indian voters gave him a big mandate in the general election that ended this month despite concerns over jobs and weak farm prices.
The unemployment number comes as another set of data released on Friday showed that the economy grew at 5.8% in the January-March period, its slowest pace in 17 quarters, and falling behind China's pace for the first time in nearly two years.
The government declined to provide comparable numbers for the jobless rate.
"It's a new design, new metric," said chief statistician Pravin Srivastava. He did not elaborate.
"It would be unfair to compare it with the past."
A newspaper, which first reported the figure in January, had said that it was based on an assessment carried out by the National Sample Survey Office between July 2017 and June 2018.
The unemployment rate was the highest since 1972-73, the newspaper had reported without giving a figure for that fiscal year.
The statistics ministry also said that female labour participation rate in urban areas for the quarter ending December 2018 was 19.5%, compared with 73.6% for males.