"Recruiters who visit north India complain of facing dearth of quality people for the posts they need to fill," he added.
The minister's comments drew sharp reactions from opposition with Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra saying the government was trying to escape blame for the job losses due to economic slowdown by such "insulting" comments.
"Mr Minister, it has been more than five years for your government. There is no job creation. Whatever jobs were there, they have been snatched due to the economic slowdown brought by the government. You want to escape by insulting North Indians," she said.
"Youths are looking towards the government hoping that it will do something good for them," the Congress general secretary said.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said such comments are laughable.
"After the different laughable statements by different Union ministers on the serious issue of economic slowdown, instead of removing unemployment in the country now it is being said that there is no shortage of jobs, but of competence, especially amongst north Indians.
"This is extremely shameful and an apology should be tendered to the nation," she tweeted.