Monday, 29 April 2024 11:16

Employment : Promises, Claims and Reality

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Promise: We will provide 2 crore new job each year – Narendra Modi in 2014


The number of fully employed persons in absolute numbers in 2024 is less than that in 2014. The number of people employed in 2022-23 was less than that in 2016-17 by 50.2 lakh in urban India and 20.1 lakh in rural India. In addition, at least 80 lakh or more young people are entering into the labour market every year.

 Unemployment is one of the most serious issues that the youth of our country faces today. From 1991 unemployment rate hovered around 5% to 5.5% till 2014. Thereafter, average unemployment rate shot up to 7.4% in 2019 and further to 10% in 2020. It remained high at around 8% during 2023.

 28.96% of youth in the 15-24 year age group, were unemployed in 2021 while 42% of graduates below 25 years of age are unemployed. More than 90% of our working age population is in the category of ‘below the graduation level education’. Around 65% of them are unemployed. The number of unemployed persons in 2023 October was 4.2 crore.

 As per the official definition, if a person has worked even one hour in any current week, then he or she will be called ‘employed’. Thus the official figures of unemployment are a gross underestimates of the real situation of unemployment and joblessness.  

 Certainly, ‘desh ki in naujawanonko (for the youth of the country)’ Modi ki guarantee has in reality proved to be nothing but another ‘jumla’.

 Labour Force Participation Rate:

 The ratio of number of persons employed or unemployed but seeking employment to the total working age category of population (above 15 years) is called labour force participation rate (LFPR).It was more than 58% in 1991. While falling gradually through last decades it has drastically declined by 7% in the last 5 years. It has shrunk to 40% in 2021.

 LFPR in November 2022 was estimated at 43.7 crore which was still lower than the pre pandemic lowest, i.e. 44.2 crores of 2019. Female labour force participation rate has drastically come down to 9% during January – April 2022.Given the notorious track record of the Modi government in manipulating statistics, this is only the tip of the ice-berg.

 Public Sector and government employment:

 The total strength of the employees in CPSEs has fallen from 17.3 lakh in March 2013 to 14.6 lakh in March 2022. Employment in CPSE declined by almost 12% between 2014 and 2023, over 18% in public sector banks and nearly 5% in central government. On the other hand, the proportion of contract and casual workers in CPSEs increased from 20.1% to 43.4% between 2014 and 2023.  Contractualisation takes away all sorts of reservations.

 There are 9.79 lakh vacant posts in union government jobs alone. Job vacancies under the staff selection commission have drastically fallen from 80,650 in 2014 to 36,348 in 2023.

 Employment in the Manufacturingsector:

 The manufacturing sector started shrinking since 2016 and fell to all time low of 13% of GDP during 2016-20. Employment in manufacturing as a share of total employment also fell from 12.8% in 2012 to 11.5% in 2018. It only touched the 2012 level by 2022. Furthermore, the character of employment also witnessed a aggressive trend of faster contactualisation of majority workforce.  This decade is a lost decade for industrial workers in India.

 According to CMIE October 2023 report, there has been a decrease of 1.03 crore daily wage labourers in small shops. The number of salaried workers has also decreased by 46 lakh

 MGNREGA: The gravity of the situation can be understood by the rise in demand for MGNREGA work. But, the Modi government has deleted 7.6 crore workers from MGNREGA registered list since April 2022. Of the current residual list, one third (8.9 crore) will be thrown out due to the Aadhaar Based Payment System.

 Precarious Employment, Under Employment and Self Employment:

 Most of the work available is precarious work – as contract, fixed term workers or apprentices etc or self employment. There is a drastic decline in permanent secure jobs. 46.8% of regular wage / salaried persons and casual labourers in the country are not eligible for paid leave which includes leave during sickness, maternity etc.

 Out of the 10 new entrants to the workforce 7 are self-employed or in fragile employment relations. Underemployed workers in agriculture constituted 46% of the workforce in 2023. After Covid, 60% of working women are self-employed. More than half of them are employed in unpaid family work or working in family farms.

 Thus, large sections of even those who are considered to be employed are pushed into destitution and indebtedness. The number of working poor has enormously increased.

 This Modi led BJP government is pursuing policies that jeopardise prospects of employment generation not only for the present young generation but also future as well. It has no right to continue.

 Use your vote! Defeat the BJP and its Allies. For strengthening the fight for decent and dignified employment for all

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