Skip to main content

60% urban men aged 20-24 unemployed, 50 lakh lost jobs in India since 2016: Study

Counterview Desk
In a new report, "State of Working India", prepared by the Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University, Bangalore, even as taking strong exception to the Government of India discontinuing employment and unemployment survey, has quoted independent surveys to say that a whopping five million able bodied men lost their jobs between 2016 and 2018, adding, the situation is extremely grim among the relatively less educated youth.
Authored by Anand Shrivastava, Rosa Abraham, and Amit Basole, the report says that among rural men, 20 percent of graduates, who are around 7 per cent of the working age population, are unemployed; among urban women, 34 per cent of graduates, who are 10 per cent of the working age population, are unemployed; and in the age group 20-24, urban men account for 13.5 per cent of the working age population, but a whopping 60 per cent of the unemployed.

Excerpts

India’s labour statistics system is in transition. The five-year employment-unemployment surveys conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSS-EUS), the last of which was in 2011-12, have been discontinued. The annual surveys conducted by the Labour Bureau (LB-EUS) have also been discontinued. The last available survey in this series is from 2015.
The government has not released the results of the new high frequency Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) conducted by the NSSO.
In the absence of official survey data, we use data from the Consumer Pyramids Survey of the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE-CPDX) to understand the employment situation between 2016 and 2018. CMIE-CPDX is a nationally representative survey that covers about 160,000 households and 522,000 individuals and is conducted in three ‘waves’, each spanning four months, beginning from January of every year. An employment-unemployment module was added to this survey in 2016.
Labour Force Participation Rate
We find that the CMIE-CPDX estimates of the labour force participation rate (LFPR) and the workforce participation rate (WPR) for men are comparable to those from the LB-EUS survey, as well as the NSS-EUS. For women, these rates difer substantially across surveys.
Our analysis of CMIE-CPDX reveals that:
a. Five million men lost their jobs between 2016 and 2018, the beginning of the decline in jobs coinciding with demonetisation in November 2016, although no direct causal relationship can be established based only on these trends.
b. Unemployment, in general, has risen steadily post 2011. Both the PLFS and the CMIE-CPDX report the overall unemployment rate to be around 6 per cent in 2018, double of what it was in the decade from 2000 to 2011.
c. India’s unemployed are mostly the higher educated and the young. Among urban women, graduates are 10 per cent of the working age population but 34 per cent of the unemployed. The age group 20-24 years is hugely over-represented among the unemployed. Among urban men, for example, this age group accounts for 13.5 per cent of the working age population but 60 per cent of the unemployed.
Work Participation Rate
d. In addition to rising open unemployment among the higher educated, the less educated (and likely, informal) workers have also seen job losses and reduced work opportunities since 2016.
e. In general, women are much worse affected than men. They have higher unemployment rates as well as lower labour force participation rates.
***
The labour force participation started to decline suddenly from September to December 2016 for both urban and rural men. The rate of decline slowed down by the second wave of 2017, but the general trend has continued and there has been no recovery. The timing of the start of the decline coincides with the demonetisation of high value currency notes in November 2016, although we cannot ascribe any causal link based only on these trends.
Between January to April 2016 and September to December 2018, the urban male Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) fell by 5.8 percentage points while the Work Participation Rate (WPR) for the same group fell by 2.8 percentage points. The corresponding numbers for rural males are 5 and 3.
What does a 3 percentage point decline in the WPR mean in terms of jobs lost? We can answer this question by drawing on the population estimates provided by the UN Department of Economics and Social Afairs. As per these data, the male working age population in India increased by 16.1 million between 2016 and 2018.
Accounting for the increase in working age population, the decline in the WPR amounts to a net loss of 5 million jobs during this period. Recall that this analysis applies to men only. When we take women into account, the number of jobs lost will be higher.
Broadly, these trends can be interpreted as saying that the proportion of working age men who are in employment continues to go down. This is the opposite of what one would expect with the ‘demographic dividend’ where the ratio of the working age group to the rest of the population increases, thus spurring higher growth. Whether or not this decline was caused by demonetisation, it is definitely a cause for concern and calls for urgent policy intervention.
The recent decline in LFPR and WPR has affected men with different educational backgrounds differently. The decline in LFPR and WPR is largely driven by men with lower education levels, for both rural and urban areas. For example, at the beginning of the period under analysis (2016-18), the WPR for both groups of men in urban areas was similar at around 68 per cent. By the end, the WPR for higher educated men had increased to 71.9 per cent while that for less educated men had fallen to 63.7 per cent.
Clearly, there is a large differential impact by level of education. This is consistent with the idea that the informal sector, where we can expect the share of less educated men to be higher, was hit hardest by demonetisation as well as the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
One question that may arise is, how can informal workers afford to remain out of the labour force? The answer may lie in the fact that a lower WPR does not necessarily mean a given person is fully out of work. Rather, it can be a result of the fact that work has become less regularly available, leading to a lower probability that the individual will be counted as part of the workforce in a survey.
Across all four slices (rural-urban, men-women), those who are educated beyond Class 10, and graduates in particular, are over-represented among the unemployed. For example, among rural men, graduates are around 7 per cent of the working age population but over 20 per cent of the unemployed.
Among urban women, graduates are 10 per cent of the working age population but 34 per cent of the unemployed. Among rural women, graduates form only a small 3.2 per cent of the working age population, but they make up 24 per cent of the unemployed.
Similarly, across age groups, the age group 20-24 years is hugely over-represented. Among urban men, for example, this age group accounts for 13.5 per cent of the working age population but a whopping 60 per cent of the unemployed. Beyond this age group, particularly for women, the 25-34 years group is also over-represented among the unemployed.
Thus broadly speaking, open unemployment in India today is largely a concern for those under 35 years of age and those who are educated beyond Class 10, and particularly beyond Class 12.

Comments

Unknown said…
the job market is right now flooded with millions of poor quality freshman without basic skills due to the education provided by colleges running under shed

TRENDING

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

US publication blames Gates Foundation for 'accelerating' India's healthcare crisis

By Rajiv Shah A new book, published by the New York-based Monthly Press Review (MPR), has blamed Microsoft founder Bill Gates for “crowning” the crisis allegedly engulfing India’s health sector, stating, the top American billionaire’s foundation of late has acquired “extraordinary influence" over India’s public health governance,  giving a fillip to a policy that deprives access of public healthcare facilities for majority of the country’s population.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".