ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Calcutta Diary

with the different employment exchanges in West Bengal was 811,665 in 1972 as against 555,835 in the previous year. This, the arithmetic says, implies an over-the-year increase of 46 per cent. The rise over the year in the number of applicants who can be described as educated unemployed is even more frightening, something of the order of 75 per cent. It is anybody's guess whether there is any close correspondence between the incidence of registrations with the employment exchanges and the actual incidence of unemployment. Not all who arc unemployed register, and not all who register are necessarily unemployed; they may simply be looking for a superior, alternative opportunity. A spurt of faith in the efficacy of placing one's name in the live register to secure a job can also lead to a sudden increase in registrations in a particular year. But these caveats al belong to the genre of pettifogging foot-notes. One has merely to look around, and check the data on fresh industrial investments, maintenance outlays, supply of raw materials, the power situation, and the rush of new entrants in the labour market. The rate of economic and industrial growth being what it is, a near-fifty per cent increase in the number of the unemployed in the course of 1972 does not appear to be an improbable estimate. That to some it may be an unpalatable one is neither here nor there.

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