Inflation is a big problem, due to which the whole country is struggling at this time. The incidents of communal violence and poisoning the society are also a matter of no less concern. Changing world order and increasing tension on the border is also a crisis. But the biggest crisis of all is that of employment. It is unfortunate that the country with the largest youth population in the world has become the country of the most unemployed and depressed youth. A large population of the country has lost hope of getting employment. Has stopped looking for a job or is content with a job of a lesser quality than one’s ability and ability. This is creating frustration and frustration among the large population of the country, which is affecting the future of the country in a negative way.
The Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has given a report on employment, unemployment and labor force participation rate (LFPR). But CMIE data is not the only indicator that gives employment status in the country. Many other figures and general news are also getting an idea of the employment situation. Take for example the figure of MGNREGA. At the time when the Prime Minister was making fun of this scheme in Parliament and calling it a monument to the failure of the UPA government, that is, in 2014-15, 4.13 crore families in the country were associated with MGNREGA. Just before the start of the corona virus epidemic, in the financial year 2019-20, the number of families getting employment from MNREGA increased to 5.48 crore. During the pandemic, 7.55 crore families got employment under MGNREGA and even now 7.28 crore families are running their life by getting employment from MNREGA.
The dependence of so many families on MNREGA is an indication that there is no employment in the organized or unorganized sector and people are under compulsion to work in MNREGA on minimum wages. This figure shows one picture and the other picture is of a young man who committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in Bhiwani, Haryana. A young man preparing for recruitment in the army committed suicide in the same field where he was preparing for recruitment in the army. There has been no recruitment in the army for the last three years and in the meantime the age of that young man has exceeded the minimum limit. Before committing suicide, this young man, who had resolved to serve the nation, said in a message to his father – Bapu could not be made in this life, if I take the next birth, I will definitely become a soldier. Think, what intense hopelessness and helplessness must have been when that young man decided to take his own life? This is a symbolic event, the seriousness and the wider dimension of which needs to be understood.
This hopelessness and helplessness is increasing among the youth. CMIE has said in its latest data that 60 percent of the people in the working age group have stopped looking for employment. They have sat down exhausted and have assumed that they will not be able to get employment. This figure is from the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR). The LFPR in 2015-16, just before demonetisation, was 47 per cent i.e. 53 per cent people had given up hope of employment even at that time. In the next five years, the number of job seekers fell from 47 to 40 per cent and 60 per cent people sat in hope of getting employment. The labor force participation rate in India is not only below the global average, but also below the average of neighboring countries like Bangladesh. In the Indian context, this figure is even more worrying because the LFPR for women is 9.4 per cent. This means that only one in 10 women in India is looking for employment and the rest either do not want employment or have assumed that they will not get employment according to their ability and ability.
In India, it is generally assessed on the basis of unemployment rate or employment rate that how the government is doing in this sector. But that gives an incomplete picture. The employment or unemployment rate is calculated on the basis of LFPR. That is, on the basis of the number of people who are looking for jobs, how many people are getting or not getting jobs, the figure of employment or unemployment rate is decided. The average LFPR of the countries of the world is 60 percent i.e. 60 out of a hundred people are looking for a job or employment. In India, it has been declining continuously for the last one decade and in the last five-six years it has come down from 47 to 40 percent. That is, only 40 out of a hundred people are looking for employment. If two of these people do not get employment, then they will be considered unemployed, but seven percent i.e. 14 people have stopped looking for employment, what about them? Where will they count?
At present 108 crore people are in the working age group in India, out of which 40.4 crore people have employment. This means that the employment rate in India is close to 37.5%. In December 2016, the working age group population in India was 959 million, out of which 412 million people were employed i.e. the employment rate was 43 percent. Think, in five-six years the population of the working age group has increased by 120 million and employment has decreased by 8 million!
This means that even on the basis of employment data, India’s unemployment is showing horrific unemployment, but if we look at the LFPR, then its magnitude increases. Due to the employment crisis, the number of people working in MNREGA is increasing and the process of returning people back to the agriculture sector has started. Due to the crisis of employment, the governments of the states have started making laws for reservation in jobs for the local people and due to this different caste groups have intensified the demand for reservation in government jobs. All these indicators point to the fact that water is pouring over the head on the employment front. If we talk about understanding the reason, then that too is not very difficult. The biggest reason for this is the slowdown in the construction and manufacturing sectors that create more employment opportunities. The government should pay immediate attention to these so that the large youth population of the country can be prevented from going into despair and depression.