Growth is here but where are the jobs?


“Jobless growth” and “jobless recovery” are the words creating lot of tidings these days, but these words are not hollow, recent survey conducted by Labour Bureau (A research organization under the Ministry of Labour Employment) pretty much justifies the buzz.

With a view to study the overall employment-unemployment situation in the country, Labour Bureau has now conducted its first national level household survey in 28 States/UT Except five North Eastern States and the Islands of Lakshadweep and the Andaman & Nicobar. These States/UTs represent 99 per cent of the country’s total population based on 2001 census results.

jobless employment survey

The survey indicates that the India’s unemployment rate in 2009-10 stood at 9.4% (exponentially greater than the 2.8% recorded by the NSSO in 2007). On one hand the economy is clocking growth at 8.5%, the same is not getting replicated for the employment scenario in the country. The infamous debate about growth benefits not getting percolated at the lowest levels in the country reaffirms here too.

A total of 45,859 household schedules have been canvassed during the survey, out of which 24,653 are in rural areas and 21,206 are in urban areas. The survey results are based on the data collected for the fixed reference period 2009-10 (April, 2009 to March, 2010). The labour force participation rate is estimated to be 359 persons per 1000 in the population.

The survey results reveal that out of 1000 employed persons, 455 persons are employed in agriculture, forestry and fisheries group. Within the employed population, self employment is the dominant category. Out of 1000 persons employed, 439 persons are self employed, which is a reason to cheer about. Entrepreneurship can really frame the future but needs to be explored as among the self employed, 572 persons out of 1000 persons are employed in agriculture, forestry & fisheries group.

The problem that India is facing is that there are jobs in areas where you don’t have people. For instance there are ample opportunities in infrastructure & mining but these are less aspired sectors. Also lack of sufficient opportunities in the agricultural sector, increased preference for capital intensive technology by the organized manufacturing sector have restricted the employment growth. There lies lot of scope in rural areas, not just for agriculture and allied services but other sectors need to be explored. Until government does not take measures for substantial development in rural areas, the pressure on urban areas is not going to ease.

The economists however claim that situation is only going to be better in next year. (As expected this statement has become so ubiquitous).

Amidst the dearth of scams I doubt if government is seriously going to give a thought about it. Sometimes I feel these surveys are just for namesake, do they really meet the purpose they are done for?

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