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

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Agrarian Question in India

Using the latest National Sample Survey Office data on land distribution and use, questions of agrarian change in India are revisited. With reducing landholding size in general, the increasing unviability of such small plots, and increasing numbers of "effectively" landless households, the larger questions of employment and sectoral shifts are flagged. There is still no clear transition away from agriculture.

Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has reiterated the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities, but has not referred to historical responsibility. How important is historical responsibility and what does it imply? How is one going to differentiate without historical responsibility? What would be India's responsibility? How do India's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution targets compare with its responsibility?

Faltering Manufacturing Growth and Employment

Declining growth and a stagnating employment share of manufacturing in a high-growth regime in India are disconcerting, given the pride of place assumed by manufacturing as the "engine of growth." The sustainability of high growth is linked intrinsically to a trajectory that creates gainful employment. This paper argues that the manufacturing sector, which recorded declining employment elasticity in the organised sector, will not be able to mend the gap between growth and employment. Rather the goal of rejuvenating manufacturing has to be contextualised in a larger strategy of full employment with interventions related to demand structures, technology, size structure of firms, as well as a calibrated engagement with the global market.

Employment Elasticity in India and the US, 1977-2011

This paper analyses the phenomenon of jobless growth in India and the United States through the lens of employment elasticity. We decompose the level and change of aggregate employment elasticity in terms of sectoral elasticities, relative growth and employment shares. Estimates of these decompositions are presented with employment and output data from relevant sources for both economies. In India, the agricultural sector was the key determinant of both the level and change of aggregate elasticity till the early 2000s. In the US, the service sector is the most important determinant of the level, but manufacturing remains an important driver of changes in aggregate employment elasticity.

Women's Work, Status and Fertility

Women's work plays a significant role in reducing gender inequality and is also seen to affect levels of fertility and child mortality. However, the relationship between female work participation status and autonomy and demographic indicators has not been clearly established. This paper attempts to bring out the conditions of women's work, status and their relationship with child mortality and fertility in a south Indian village. The aim is to explore the comprehensiveness of the term 'conditions of women's work' and how it reflects the entire milieu of a woman's situation.

Energy and Labour Use in Industry

This paper looks at substitutability between labour and fuel in the manufacturing sector of Andhra Pradesh, taking into account factor intensities, input ratios and relative prices. The study determines that there is a technical possibility of substitution between fuel and labour, but it is now important to study the actual processes involved at the firm level.

Living Environment and Health of Urban Poor

This paper presents and discusses primary data from a survey of 1,070 households in four poor settlements in Mumbai comprising slum-and pavement-dwellers and squatters on the living environment and health conditions. The study attempts to examine the consequences of socio-economic and environmental factors in terms of income, literacy, sanitation and hygiene for morbidity. The needs of the urban poor and their priorities are seen to be hierarchial. They need first assurance of being allowed to stay where they are and then provision of basic amenities of toilets, water supply, sewerage and drainage.

Evading the Dilemmas

Development and Deprivation in Gujarat: In Honour of Jan Breman edited by Ghanshyam Shah, Mario Rutten and Hein Streefkerk; Sage Publications, New Delhi, Thousand Oaks and London, 2002; pp 345, Rs 580.

Employment and Unemployment Situation in 1990s

The concepts and methods used by NSSO to net work and workers are not able to capture the work of the poor, particularly of women, satisfactorily. Since that part of the workforce which is not captured by the NSS surveys is not likely to remain stagnant and is subject to increases and declines, depending on the specific situation, it is possible that an increase in this part of the workforce may explain the decline in the worker-population ratio (WPR) in the nineties. The workforce in these 'difficult to measure sectors', such as subsistence work, home-based work or informal work, can be better captured through time use surveys. Using data from the pilot time use survey (1998-99), this paper shows that (a) this survey technique is capable of getting more realistic estimates of workforce and (b) some of the work not captured in the NSS surveys but captured in the time use surveys is likely to explain the changes in the employment situation in the nineties to a considerable extent.

Casualisation of Urban Labour Force

The growing size of informal employment, of which casual employment forms a subset, is current concern. It becomes important, then to examine this process of growing casualisation of the workforce and its links with the quickened pace of liberalisation all through the 1990s. A growing literature seeks to demonstrate the links between specific policies of liberalisation, such as deregulation of the labour market, export promotion and trade liberalisation, with the processes of casualisation, informalisation and feminisation of the labour force. In order to be able to understand these issues better, this paper seeks to examine the changes in patterns of industrial employment in light of the statistical evidence available.

Economic Reforms and Industrial Structure in India

This paper focuses on the impact of India's economic reforms on industrial structure and productivity. It reveals a disappointing overall performance in both output growth and employment. This, however, is not the result of exogenous factors,but the consequence of the type of policies being followed under economic reforms. If mistakes were made in the past, they need to be corrected. But efforts should be made to ensure that demand is high enough for more output to be produced, more people to be employed, poverty to be reduced.

Social Implications of Voluntary Retirement Scheme

The impact of voluntary retirement schemes has had wide-ranging impact on the nature of employment, and is changing the quality of workers' lives. One of the effects is the increasing casualisation of labour. This article examines the nature of change in the quality of life among workers who have accepted VRS, locating some of the problems in the context of the employers' attitude to VRS.


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