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Where are aggregate number of jobs going? What are India's '90 crore jobless' doing?

By Shankar Sharma* 

A a recent report, “Majority of India’s 90 crore workforce stop looking for jobs”, got me thinking; and made me a bit worried too. If the conclusion of the report is true, even with (-) 20 to 25% accuracy, it should be a serious concern. 
Because it may mean that all the incessant increase in commercial and industrial activities in the country are resulting only in the loss of forest/agricultural lands, and in the pollution/ contamination of air, water and soil, without corresponding increase in the number of suitable jobs for our people.
One wonders how accurate, or objective are such reports/analysis. The data may be referring to the Covid time. With more and more women going to schools and colleges, it is difficult to believe that the total number of people seeking jobs is reducing.
Also, the true economic value to our society of women contributing to the wellbeing of the family, and/ or through part time jobs or indirect participation in the labor market (some women may be assisting in some or the family jobs/ professions, such as assisting their husbands, parents or brothers in money earning works) seem to have been ignored in such analysis.
In a country of population of about 130 crores, is it reasonable to assume that 90 crore people prefer not to work? Has the GDP not been expanding every year? How will this be possible if more and more people refuse to work?
National scenario becomes very concerning if we recognise that every govt-sponsored project gets associated with additional job creation
A a microscopic level, I cannot seen any young lady in my own extended family not seeking a job; certainly not those with college/ matriculation education. The only exception may be in the case of pregnant ladies or young mothers. The same scenario seem to be true in the community around me.
In this regard, the national scenario becomes very concerning if we also recognise the fact that every government-supported/ sponsored project (the number of which is incessantly increasing, as has been witnessed in the form of forest/ agricultural land diversion, and the ever growing pollution/ contamination of air, water and soil every year) gets associated with additional job creation; there are regular claims of massive increase in FDI also; and good increase in export/ import volumes.
We also get to read about IT sector recruiting tens of thousands of freshers every year. Annual number of passenger kM by road, rail and air is also escalating. So where are the aggregate number of jobs going? What are the so-called 90 crore jobless people doing or supporting themselves?
*Power & Climate Policy Analyst



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