India Does Have a Real Employment Crisis -- And it's Worsening -Santosh Mehrotra
Manufacturing jobs actually fell in absolute terms from 58.9 million in 2011-12 to 48.3 million in 2015-16.
Economists have been writing for some months that, contrary to the claims of the government, there is plenty of data available that shows unmistakably that unemployment is high and rising.
Educated unemployment has worsened just as young people are getting better educated, and expect to work outside agriculture in industry and services.
We have done this on the strength of analysis of household surveys – Annual Survey, Labour Bureau (LB) 2015-16 – with a sample size the same or larger than the five-yearly employment-unemployment surveys of the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO).
We also used survey data, available since 2016, of the Centre for Monitoring of the Indian Economy (CMIE), which has a sample size larger than the LB Annual Survey and the NSSO surveys. Both surveys that were used cover both rural and urban, and both organised and unorganised sector employment.
In a nutshell, they capture both EPFO/NPS (organised) as well as such employment as might be generated by MUDRA loans or platform economy jobs. The latter two sources are precisely what the government claims are not being captured by whatever data on jobs is available.
We have repeatedly stated that government claims that there is not enough ‘good’ data on jobs is simply untenable, for the reasons noted above: recent available employment data all capture jobs that the government claimed were not being captured.
The recently leaked data from the NSSO’s latest labour force survey (PLFS 2017-18), using the same questionnaire and same definitions of employment/unemployment as earlier NSSO surveys on employment should have laid to rest any government claims forever.
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