One of the major electoral promises of the Modi government during the 2014 elections was that of more jobs. Exactly five years later, when the whole country gears up for the 2019 elections, the question on how successful the government has been on delivering on the promises looms large. And things don’t look great. Several reports have indicated a jobless growth in the country.
A recent report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has just confirmed one of the biggest fears. The report says that the unemployment rate has risen to 7.2%, the highest in 28 months.
Unemployment rate shots up
The unemployment rate in February 2018, stood at 5.9% and the year before that, it was 5%. The total number of employed persons in February 2019 was 400 million. Around the same time, last year, the number stood at 406 million and it is 407.5 million in February 2017.
Notably, the labour participation rate has also been falling, as reported by Business Today. Labour participation rate refers to the proportion of the working-age population (over the age of 15), either employed or unemployed but actively looking for a job. A significant decline has been seen on a monthly basis. The labour participation rate was 43.2% in January 2019, which dropped to 42.7% in February 2019. Mahesh Vyas, head of CMIE said, “In every month of 2018 and in the months of 2019 so far, the ratio has always been lower than it was in the corresponding month of the previous year. This was also the case in 2017. But, that could be attributed to demonetisation. The continued year-on-year fall in the labour participation rate even in 2018 and 2019 indicates a deeper or a more sustained problem ailing India’s labour markets.”
The CMIE report also said that India, in last one year has seen “the dreadful phenomenon” of declining labour participation and the rising unemployment rates, a combination of both severely affecting the employment rate. It stood at 41.8% in November 2017, which plummeted to 39.5%. Senior economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), John Bluedorn said that the youth inactivity at 30% in India is the highest in emerging and developing economies.
The Logical Indian Take
Last year, in an interview with a news channel, PM Modi’s ‘Pakoda comment’ made a lot of waves, It displayed PM’s casual attitude towards such a burning problem. Apart from this, several leaders of BJP have either been making false claims or running away from these questions. At this time, what steps the government intends to take is largely anticipated.