India's Dec jobless rate hits four-month high of 7.9%-think tank

Job seekers attend a job fair organised by the employment department of the Delhi state government in New Delhi, India, January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/Files

NEW DELHI, Jan 3 (Reuters) - India's unemployment rate hit a four-month high in December, data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) showed on Monday.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.9% in December from 7.0% in November, its highest since 8.3% in August.

Economic activity and consumer sentiment have been hit in the South Asian nation after a rise in cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant and social distancing restrictions in many states.

Urban unemployment rate rose to 9.3% in December from 8.2% in the previous month while the rural unemployment rate was up 7.3% from 6.4%, the data showed.

Many economists worry that the Omicron variant could reverse the economic recovery seen in the previous quarter.

Mumbai-based CMIE data on unemployment is closely watched by economists and policymakers as the government doesn't release monthly figures.

Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Sam Holmes

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