Failure to provide jobs
The prime poll promise during 2014 elections that was offered to the people was creation of jobs. No other party than the BJP took lead in luring the people by this promise of providing jobs to crores of people during the five years they will get to rule the country.
However, the promise proved to be a hoax as unemployment rate in India has doubled in eight years to 2018 as 50 lakh jobs were lost in last two years beginning with demonetisation in November 2016. These findings have come to the fore through a new research by a private university in Bengaluru.
The report by Azim Premji University researchers said with the government not releasing results of the new high-frequency Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), they used data from the Consumer Pyramids Survey of the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIC-CPDX) to understand the employment situation between 2016 and 2018.
The report proved alarming as unemployment, in general, has risen steadily post 2011. Both the PLFS and the CMIE-CPDX report the overall unemployment rate to be around 6 per cent in 2018, double of what it was in the decade from 2000 to 2011 (3 per cent).
India’s unemployed are mostly the higher educated and the young. The analysis of CMIE-CPDX reveals that five million men lost their jobs between 2016 and 2018, the beginning of the decline in jobs coinciding with demonetisation in November 2016, although no direct causal relationship can be established based only on these trends.
A leaked report of the periodic labour force survey by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) had shown unemployment at a 45-year high of more than 6 per cent in 2017-18 but the government has officially not yet released the report.
In addition to rising open unemployment among the higher educated, the less educated (and likely, informal) workers have also seen job losses and reduced work opportunities since 2016.
Ironically, the five-yearly employment-unemployment surveys conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSS-EUS), the last of which was in 2011-12, have been discontinued. The annual surveys conducted by the Labour Bureau (LB-EUS) have also been discontinued. The last available survey in this series is from 2015.
The trends have set alarm bells ringing for the government as well as the general masses. The way job creations had witnessed a decline most of the educated youth are finding themselves in a dilemma as no fresh jobs are making their way into the markets directly.
Hiring in most of the corporate houses has stopped and several sectors like the civil aviation and telecom are stressed to disturbing levels.
In such a scenario the economy should have been growing at a much faster pace so that fresh job creation should have been a big priority. But that possibility too seems highly unlikely.
The overall unemployment rate rose to 7.2% in February 2019, its highest since September 2016, and up from 5.9 percent in February 2018. These figures should be a cause for concern for all and the government should also be equally concerned about these hard facts.