According to a Labour Bureau report, the Indian economy is growing at around 7% per year while the jobs market grew by just 1.1% last year. Meanwhile, under-employment is at a staggering 35%.
The reports vindicates a growing employment crisis, which the government needs to urgently address before it blows out of proportion.
The Labour Bureau carried out a survey covering eight key sectors of the non-farm economy. Job growth is tracked by a quarterly survey of over 10,000 units while unemployment is recorded in an annual survey of 7.8 lakh people.
Education and health are the most booming sectors: nearly half of all new jobs were added in these sectors. But both these sectors suffer from low wages.
Meanwhile, construction and hospitality/food sectors showed a loss of jobs, which amounted to a dip of nearly 7%, in the construction sector.
New visa restrictions and the global slowdown in IT services and components are thought to be behind the recent reports of several IT and BPO majors cutting jobs. These have added to the worries of the people, especially those in the middle-class.
This painful situation is being explained by several other indicators. In the past three years, gross credit given to industry has grown by just 6.7%. The index of industrial production has inched up by just 6% and in January this year, gross fixed capital formation growth slipped to a low 0.6% compared to 6.1% last year.
A total of only 2.3 lakh jobs were added to the sectors covered in the quarterly survey, which are manufacturing, construction, trade, transport, accommodation and restaurants, IT/BPO, education and health.
Automation and digital processes are one of the reasons behind the jobless growth, claims the same report.
Only 34% are working 6-11 months even though they were willing to work for 12 months and 61% of people in the workforce were found to have year-round jobs. The report also revealed that 68% households were earning only Rs 10,000 per month or less. In this manner, nearly 16 crore people in the workforce were under-employed.
India’s usually neglected aspect of unemployment crisis is of concealed unemployment and under-employment – not finding work for full year and working at very low wages. The Labour Bureau’s report on unemployment paints a dire picture of both fronts.
For more information on the index numbers, readers can visit the Labour Bureau’s official website.