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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.

Read | GDP at record high but unemployment continues to rise

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.

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