A first since independence: Employment down by 9 mn in 6 yrs, says report

The total employment during 2011-12 and 2017-18 declined by nine million, according to a new academic paper- written by Santosh Mehrotra and Jajati K Parida and published by the Centre of Sustainable Employment at the Azim Premji University. This is the first time such a decline has been recorded in independent India’s history, according to The Indian Express.

The paper is based on both the recent “Employment and Unemployment” and “Unincorporated Nonā€Agricultural Enterprise” survey data of the National Sample Survey (NSS). The unit data collected during 2004-05 and 2011-12 employment and unemployment rounds and the annual Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), 2017-18 are used for obtaining various labour market indicators: the Labour force, workforce, unemployment and Not in Labour force Education and Training (NLET).

According to IE, the latest study is in sharp contrast to the study by Laveesh Bhandari and Amaresh Dubey, which was commissioned by the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, that claimed that total employment grew from 433 million in 2011-12 to 457 million in 2017-18.

Mehrotra is Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University while Parida teaches at the Central University of Punjab. They claim that employment fell from 474 million in 2011-12 to 465 million in 2017-18.

Ever since the National Sample Survey Organisation’s (NSSO) Periodic Labour Force Survey was published (which showed that unemployment in India was at a 45-year high, as reported by Business Standard), there have been debates on the state of employment in India.

4 key findings of academic paper titled: India’s Employment Crisis: Rising Education Levels and Falling Non-agricultural Job Growth:

1. Decline in employment in agriculture sector: The agriculture sector continued to register a decline of employment at the rate of 4.5 million pa (about 27 million in total) during 2011-12 and 2017-18, according to FirstPost.

2. Manufacturing sector: Manufacturing recorded a 3.5 million decline in jobs during 2011-12 and 2017-18. 

3. Unemployed youth: For youth, Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) fell from 44.6 per cent to 38.3 per cent, and Work Participation Rate (WPR) fell from 42 per cent to 31.4 per cent during the same period.

4. Unemployment among educated youth: According to the study, for each level of education, the unemployment rate increased by 2017-18—among illiterates to 7.1 per cent to 8.3 per cent for youth having up to primary education, 13.7 per cent with middle education, 14.4 per cent with secondary, 24 per cent with higher secondary education, 35.8 per cent for graduates and 36.2 for postgraduates.

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