Employment Opportunities are Lagging, So is the Inconsistency in Data Release!

  • Even before the pandemic made its debilitating presence felt rendering every sector teetering and on the brink in the last year and a half, the employment generation in the country was struggling to cope up with the increasing demand is stating the obvious. This particular phenomenon has been captured lucidly by all concerned experts though the government machinery would have us believe differently. The economy hardly showed any substantial GDP growth pre-pandemic is well documented too. The hardships of the pandemic-induced lockdowns only exacerbated the jobs scenario is visible all around.

PC:  NewsDirect

  • Thankfully, after a year of contraction, the economic activities are slowly on the mend infusing much-needed enthusiasm and hope for the future. There have been incessant calls from many stakeholders, including the opposition political parties, urging the Union Government to not gloss over this perennial problem. Adopting every conceivable effort earnestly by attempting at realigning the economic trends on expected lines should be the guiding light from now on. As mentioned above, India’s economy has been slowing down since 2017-18 as witnessed in the dropping of GDP growth rate. Let us look at what is hampering the job market and what should be forthcoming from the policymakers to address this anomaly.
  • A few days back, the government of India unveiled a quarterly report on employment for the quarter April-June which estimates the labour demand of nine handpicked non-farm sectors by surveying establishments with 10 people or more. Note that the release of demand-side estimates has been patchy, to say the least, and the latest one also has many gaps on scrutiny of the same. What should be a matter of grave concern is that only a million jobs have been added annually over the last seven years, though the survey claims job creation grew by 29%. The overarching trend is one of the inadequate non-farm jobs when the demand side estimate is juxtaposed with the supply of labour.

PC: Avakin

  • Even the periodic labour force survey (PLFS) – both annual and quarterly – also shows a marked deterioration in the quality of jobs. The annual PLFS (July 2019-June 2020) shows a palpable shift in employment pattern since 2018 towards agriculture and informality. Delving further into the PLFS confirms the shift away from salaried jobs which are proving to be counterproductive. The percentage of salaried jobs in October-December 2020 was 48.7%, lower than the 52.7% recorded during the intense lockdown phase of April-June 2020. Most worryingly, the unemployment rate of 10.3% in October-December 2020 was higher than the 7.9% of the corresponding period in 2019.
  • Looked from any angle, India has a jobs problem. Accepting this fact without resorting to camouflaging or brushing under the carpet approach by the Government should help them see the situation from the right perspective. What should be the way forward then? To begin with, releasing data consistently and also reducing lags would go a long way in accepting the information without apprehensions. Of course, the country needs a far bigger industrial manufacturing sector duly recognized and acted upon to facilitate organic growth per se. The policy think tank should concentrate on these fronts with absolute diligence and hope for the best to materialize eventually.

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Krishna MV
Krishna is a Post Graduate with specialization in English Literature and Human Resource Management, respectively. Having served the Indian Air Force with distinction for 16 years, Armed Forces background definitely played a very major role in shaping as to who & what he is right now. Presently, he is employed as The Administrator of a well known educational institute in Bangalore. He is passionate about sharing thoughts by writing articles on the current affairs / topics with insightful dissection and offering counter / alternate views thrown in for good measure. Also, passionate about Cricket, Music – especially vintage Kannada & Hindi film songs, reading – non-fictional & Self-Help Books, and of course, fitness without compromising on the culinary pleasures.