Several viral social media posts have falsely stated that Uttar Pradesh had an unemployment rate of 17.5% in 2017 and the Yogi Adityanath government brought it down to 4.2% in 2021.
These posts attribute this data to the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE), an independent think tank which publishes monthly data bulletins on employment in India. The actual data show that the unemployment rate never crossed double digits in 2017. Rather, it was below 7% for all months of 2017. CMIE's database shows a monthly and a four-monthly statistical profile at the state level that shows the unemployment rates over these frequencies, and does not have annual figures.
The 4.2% figure mentioned above is also not for all of 2021, but rather just the latest unemployment rate for October 2021. This is contrary to the claims made in the posts that stated 4.2% as the unemployment rate for 2021. There are months when the unemployment rate has been higher than 4.2% prior to October 2021.
The latter half of the posts also claim that according to World Bank data, Uttar Pradesh has come a long way on its Ease of Doing Business (EODB) rank from 12 in 2017 to the second place in 2020. While the numbers are correct, the source in the claim is incorrect as these rankings are from the government's own Ease of Doing Business Index ranking that is based on the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
All these rankings are being benchmarked to 2017 since it was the year the incumbent government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adithynath assumed power in the state, with fresh elections in the state likely to held in February 2022.
The claim can be seen below.
This can be seen on Facebook and Twitter.
Employment in Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh's highest unemployment rate (in percentage terms) before 2017 came in June 2016, when its unemployment rate reached 18%, according to the monthly unemployment rates time series maintained by CMIE. The think tank's unemployment database does not show unemployment annually.
It decreased to 14.2% in July, and it become 17.1% in August 2016.
However, in 2017, unemployment has not crossed 17%, or even entered double digits in 2017. It's monthly unemployment rate in 2017 can be seen below.
Further, four-month (January to April, May to August and September to December) statistical profiles on unemployment in 2017 (which is available for all years) by CMIE also do not put Uttar Pradesh's unemployment rate at anywhere close to 17%.
Here's what they show.
The unemployment rate is the ratio of the number of unemployed persons who are unemployed, willing to work and are looking for jobs: the population aged 15 and above who are either employed or unemployed.
However after 2017, Uttar Pradesh saw much higher rates of unemployment in the months immediately after the lockdown imposed to counter the first wave of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It became 21.5% in April 2020 and 20.4% in May 2020. The unemployment rate in Uttar Pradesh has decreased since then.
The 4.2% figure mentioned in the claim comes from CMIE's October 2021 unemployment figure and is the latest available number, which the claim is falsely appropriating as the rate of unemployment for all of 2021. For reference, in 2021, unemployment shot up during the second wave of the pandemic, at 6.3% and 6.9% in April and May 2021 respectively, and was 7% in August this year.
Yogi Adityanath has previously commented on the state of unemployment in the state in 2016 before his government's tenure, and how his government has reduced unemployment in the state.
Ease of doing business
The claim also says that Uttar Pradesh's position in EODB improved from 12 in 2017 to 2 in 2020 is correct, though attributing this to the World Bank is incorrect.
These figures are from the government's own Ease of Doing Business Report, which in turn is set on a set of reforms being recommended by the government through Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Further, the 2020 report corresponds to the year 2019 in terms of business activity, in which Uttar Pradesh ranked second behind Andhra Pradesh. Data for the same is also referenced by institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India.
While this is not World Bank data, the EODB report by the government is done in collaboration with the World Bank.
The World Bank's own Doing Business report ranks countries, but subnational reports (like one in 2009) for India did look at doing business in cities in major states, including Noida in Uttar Pradesh.
The World Bank's latest report (in 2019) covers only Mumbai and Delhi and does not have ranking for UP with other states. Rather, India's rank improved 14 spots, making it 63 among 190 countries.
However, a data integrity scandal erupted at the World Bank in 2018 and in 2020, where certain senior officials rigged the data of countries like Saudi Arabia and China to better their score, causing the World Bank to discontinue the report in an announcement on September 16 this year.