Unemployment is a silent political killer and can catch the BJP off guard in polls -Yogendra Yadav
Unemployment can become big and yet remain undetected. Its impact can lead to a critical vote swing.
Is unemployment going to be the silent political killer in this election? This must be our first question, as we limp back from heightened national security anxiety towards other regular concerns in this first week after the formal announcement of the 17th Lok Sabha elections. Every available evidence points to this possibility. But as of now, it is just a possibility.
Let us begin with objective data. The State of Working India, a report on jobs and joblessness released in November 2018 by Centre for Sustainable Employment at the Azim Premji University pretty much summarised the existing knowledge on this subject. We are shifting from a chronic but invisible and politically manageable problem of under-employment to an acute, felt and potentially explosive problem of open unemployment. The report estimated open unemployment to be upward of 5 per cent, but well over 15 per cent among the youth and the educated. This pure form of unemployment is in addition to precarious and underpaid employment, besides of course the old-style under-employment.
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