Analysis | Why India’s World-Beating Growth Isn’t Creating Jobs – The Washington Post

by | Jul 15, 2022 | Jobs

Comment on this storyCommentGift ArticleNo other major economy has been expanding as fast as India lately, beating both China and the US. But beyond the headlines lies the grim reality of rising unemployment. The nation of 1.4 billion people isn’t creating enough jobs for its growing workforce, despite campaign promises by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make it a priority. Output is increasing as a result of pandemic-related government spending while the private sector sits on the fence, deterred by dim conditions for new investment. Meanwhile, pandemic-related disruptions and rising inflation are making it harder for everyone to get by. Tensions boiled over in June when angry youth facing bleak job prospects blocked rail traffic and highways in many states for days, even setting some trains on fire.1. How bad is the jobs situation?The unemployment rate in India has been hovering around 7% or 8%, up from about 5% five years ago, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, a private research firm. At the same time, the workforce shrank as millions of people dejected over weak job prospects pulled out, a situation that was exacerbated by Covid-19 lockdowns. The labor force participation rate — meaning people who are working or looking for work — has dropped to just 40% of the 900 million Indians of legal age, from 46% six years ago, according to the CMIE. By comparison, the participation rate in the US was 62.2% in June.Advertisement2. Who’s most affected?Women and the young. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of working women in India dropped to 19% from 26%, according to data compiled by the World Bank. As Covid infections surged, a bad situation turned dire: CMIE estimated that female labor force participation plummeted to 9% by 2022 — putting it in the same league as war-torn Yemen. Rosa Abraham, an economics professor at Azim Premji University in Bengaluru, who tracked more than 20,000 people before and after India’s first pandemic lockdown in 2020, found that women were several times more likely to lose their jobs than men and far less likely to recover work after restrictions lifted. At the same time, young people are finding it harder to get jobs. CMIE estimated the unemployment in the 20-24 age group was 43.7% in June. That compares with 18.4% in May for the 16-24 category in China, which is also facing a worsening crisis. 3. What’s behind those numbers? AdvertisementIndia’s poor system of education and job-training means degrees are often considered worthless by employers. In large-scale surveys, employers have said that less than half the college graduates entering the workforce have the cutting-edge skills they need or the ability to pick them up in the workplace. So many would-be job seekers decide instead to continue their studies, join family members in farming or just stay home, surviving on rental income, pensions received by elderly household members or government transfers. Many women are opting for unpaid work at home, taking care of …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This