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

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Youth Employment in India

Dimensions and Challenges

India is set to add about one-fifth of incremental global youth population in the next two decades. This relative “greening” of India’s population and workforce is expected to bring down dependency ratio, increase savings rate and investment ratios, boost macroeconomic growth and yield a demographic dividend for the country, but this depends on whether the additional youth workforce finds remunerative and productive jobs. Examining the employment situation of the youth in India, we discover that labour force participation rate and work participation rate are declining, caused mainly by increased participation in education, but the increasing unemployment rate is worrisome.

Youth population is on the rise globally and India is estimated to add about one-fifth of the incremental youth population in the next two decades. The relative “greening” of India’s population and workforce that started in the late 1970s is likely to add close to 200 million working-age adults to the population by 2040. This is likely to bring down the economic dependency ratio in the country, increase savings rate and investment ratios, and create chances for a leap in the macroeconomic growth rate. This opportunity in the
middle stage of demographic transition when the population pyramid bulges in the middle is thus called demographic dividend. However, whether India can reap this demographic dividend would depend on whether these additional youth find remunerative and productive jobs. The global reality is far from rosy and the International Labour Organization (ILO 2005a: 2) noted in the beginning of the century:

(a significant number of) “youth are underemployed, unemployed, seeking employment or between jobs, or working unacceptably long hours under informal, intermittent and insecure work arrangements, without the possibility of personal and professional development; working below their potential in low-paid, low-skilled jobs without prospects for career advancement; trapped in involuntary part-time, temporary, casual or seasonal employment; and frequently under poor and precarious conditions in the informal economy, both in rural and urban areas.”

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Updated On : 6th Nov, 2023
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