What is the status of unemployment in India?

India may pose to be the fastest-growing major economy around the globe but that could hardly mean anything for the people of the nation. With a population of around 130 crores, the majority of the young generation is coping to find a decent job.

The rate of unemployment in India was around 5 per cent in the 2015-16 fiscal year which is quite higher compared to the 3.8 per cent in 2012-13. This data, published by the 5th yearly survey of employment-unemployment of the ministry of labour and employment. When you glance at this figure for the first time, you could convince yourself that it is feasible, given the size of the country that’s compared to a subcontinent. But you will soon be flabbergasted taking a look at the distinct surveys on job creation in various sectors every quarter conducted by the government. It is a different ball game altogether. 

In India, around 1.2 crores of people attempt to enter the job market every single year. Compared to this, the rate of job creation is much lower than the required level provided, that the economy is also growing at more than 7 per cent. Today with coronavirus entangling us in all possible ways, jobless development together with stagnant pay scale has turned into the perfect ingredients for causing political instability all over the nation.

Almost all indicators of our economy have managed to convince us that the rate of employment is falling. It is also seen in many sectors that it is caused by reduced demands of goods and supplies in the rural regions. This slowed demand has adversely affected the growth rate, which, in turn, has contributed to reduced availability of jobs on the market.

The latest survey conducted by the Periodic Labour Force Survey shows that the crisis is real and is making it very difficult for employment generation. In January 2018, the total population of our country was 1.31 billion with 457 million urban and 858 million rural citizens.

In the survey conducted in 2011-12, the number of employed people was 472.5 million which shrunk into 457 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year. Similar lines of the estimate were also given by the Labour Bureau’s Annual Employment Status and this sharply indicates the severity of the condition. Another point to highlight here is that the number of women workers is also getting reduced which has never happened in any developed or developing country with similar per capita income.

In almost all countries of East Asia, whenever there is rapid growth in the economy, women have actively been a part of it. Also, workers moving out of agriculture has become quite a trend now but it also raises an inevitable question as to where will these people go. These facts are difficult to accept and criticising any party would not solve these problems. 

This problem is not new and has been there probably from the time that India earned its independence. There has been enough of blame game and it’s high time that the government acknowledges this issue and tries to mitigate it without further worsening it by sweeping under the carpet. 

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