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

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From Jobless to Job-loss Growth

Gainers and Losers during 2012–18

The unprecedented decline in the absolute number of workers in the Indian economy in recent times has been a subject of debate and a matter of public concern. A closer look at the data for the period 2011–12 and 2017–18 shows that it is the net result of a dynamic process of job creation and destruction. Those who have lost jobs are all with low education, that is, less than secondary level of education. From a gender perspective, rural women workers are the net losers. From a social point of view, the net losers belong to two groups: Muslims and Hindu Other Backward Classes. These are clear signs of rural India in distress with strong gender and social dimensions.

The results of the recent National Sample Survey (NSS) on employment and unemployment called the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017–18 should have come as a shocker to all those managing the Indian economy. Instead, it started with stern denials, from both official and non-official quarters, of the results which fortunately did not last long. The sum and substance of the results is that not only has there been an unprecedented increase in the unemployment rate but that it has been accompanied by a fall in the absolute number of workers compared to the previous survey in 2011–12. However, there were some forewarnings.

While the surveys conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) are the most comprehensive data sources on employment and unemployment in India since 1972, analysis of data from another official source (employment and unemployment surveys conducted by the Labour Bureau of the Government of India) had warned about the signs of employment decline during 2013–14 to 2015–16 (Abraham 2017). Independent surveys initiated in 2016 by a prominent private agency also reported a net decline in employment and an increase in unemployment.1

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Updated On : 25th Feb, 2021
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