Skip to main content

Employment rate down, unemployment rate up: CMIE "contradicts" Modi claim that it's data crisis not jobs crisis

By Our Representative
Virtually contradicting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's claim that India is not facing a jobs crisis but data crisis, the country's top data consultating firm, Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has declared that the labour force participation rate -- expressing the desire the able-bodied persons to find a job -- continues to decline.
According to CMIE's latest estimates, the labour force participation rate fell from 46.1 per cent in fiscal 2016-17 to 43.5 per cent in 2017-18, and it is further down to 42.7 per cent in the first quarter (April to June) of the present financial year, 2018-19.
In a fresh incisive analysis based on CMIE's labour force data, CMIE managing-director Mahesh Vyas says, "It is the labour force participation rate that is a better measure of the labour market conditions in India. It is not good if the number of people willing to work declines. It is not good if an increasing proportion of the working-age population express no interest in working. But, this is what happened..."
He believes, "The ripple-effects of the twin shocks of demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) continue to impact the economy. Consumer demand is muted. Persistent low food inflation is a possible reflection of this. Low investment demand is a clear reflection of poor consumer demand. Capacity utilisation is still low. In such conditions, the stagnation we observe in employment is understandable."
As for employment, says Vyas, things "turned worse" here, too. Thus, during the first quarter of 2018-19, persons employed fell to 401.9 million as against 406.2 million in in 2017-18 and 406.7 million in 2016-17. Thus, he adds, employment rate fell to 40.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2018-19, as against 41.45 per cent 2017-18 and 42.59 per cent in 2016-17.
Comments Vyas, "Employment must grow because, as population grows, the number of people seeking employment also increases. If employment is stagnant while the population keeps growing, the employment rate (which is the proportion of working-age population that is employed) declines."
Vyas suggests that failure of the jobs market to pick up is a direct reflection of the current economic scenario.
According to him, "Fiscal 2017-18 was a difficult year for the Indian economy. Real Gross Value Added (GVA) growth slowed down to 6.5 per cent compared to 7.1 per cent in the previous year. This was also the worst year for growth since 2013-14. The investment ratio, at 28.5 per cent was the lowest since 2011-12. It has been falling relentlessly indicating declining investment demand in the country."
He adds, "This fall in investment demand is also captured by CMIE’s CapEx database. Announcement of new investment projects declined by 38.4 per cent and completion of new projects declined by 26.8 per cent in 2017-18 compared to the previous year. Foreign direct investments were down by 15 per cent."
Squarely blaming demonetisation for the present economic crisis, Vyas says, "After demonetisation a large number of unemployed persons stopped looking for jobs. These were mostly youngsters, many of them were uneducated and were women. Why did they stop looking for jobs is a different matter. The relevant and important observation is that they stopped looking for jobs."
He adds, "As these unemployed persons stopped looking for jobs, they were not called unemployed any more. They hadn’t found jobs so they were not classified as employed either. They simply exited the labour force. This led to shrinking of labour force and a misleading fall in the unemployment rate."
All this, believes Vyas, suggests that if "2017-18 was as difficult year, 2018-19 is a challenging year already." He adds, "Rains have been somewhat erratic, kharif sowing is 10 per cent below last year’s, crude oil prices have risen, Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPIs) are exiting, the rupee is weak, the balance of payments is vulnerable and the fisc is in danger of running amok. These are not the best times to expect private entrepreneurs to invest and so not the best time to find new jobs."

Comments

TRENDING

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Karnataka: NGO Akshay Patra "not sensitive" to nutrition demands of school children

Counterview Desk
Well-known civil rights organizations, Right to Food Campaign and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, have sent a letter to the Union minister of human resource development, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, other concerned ministers and officials of the state expressing concerns regarding the mid-day meal (MDM) to school children, insisting, all contracts to the Akshay Patra for supply of MDM should be immediately terminated.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

Rejoinder: Worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima is fading, slowly and steadily

By Dr KS Parthasarathy* 
EAS Sarma, former Secretary, Government of India (GoI) in a letter addressed to Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, stated that, there has been "worldwide anxiety about the consequences of catastrophic nuclear accidents, either due to manual lapses or natural calamities" (Counterview, December 2, 2018)."In the recent years, globally, the pace of growth of nuclear power has escalated in leaps and bounds, causing a great deal of public concern and apprehension."

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

Modi's PRO, who served previous Congress, BJP CMs in Gujarat with "equal" competence

By Rajiv Shah
A public relations officer (PRO), even as maintaining anonymity, is supposed to “manage” reputation of his or her client, reflecting the client’s views in order to influence opinion and behaviour. A PRO is also known to use, the world over, media and communication to build, maintain, manage and plan publicity strategies and campaigns, even as dealing with enquiries from the public, particularly media, organising promotional events such as press conferences, open days, exhibitions, tours and visits. A PRO is also supposed to final touches to press statements for his or client.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.