Employment prospects

Bleak outlook

Print edition : May 26, 2017
Declining opportunities and worsening working conditions combine to present a grim near-term future for employment.

THE ILO’s 2016 World Employment Social Outlook report has forecast that the number of unemployed persons worldwide will to rise in 2016 and 2017 and that most of this increase will take place in emerging economies. The report also says that India is one of the countries with the highest rates of employment vulnerability, with more than 60 per cent of the working population having no access to formal work and possibly good working conditions.

Data from the Ministry of Labour and Employment show that Central government employment has plummeted over the years from 2000, while State government employment has seesawed between dips and gains but always remained below the 2000 level. Employment in labour-intensive sectors such as plantations and mines too has mostly fallen from decade-ago levels.

The Ministry's Labour Bureau has been conducting quick employment surveys every quarter ever since the global recession in 2008. According to its findings, there was a period of severe job loss followed by a net addition of jobs, which totalled 37.46 lakh, between end-2008 and end-2014. (The surveys covered sectors such as textiles, metals, automobiles, IT/BPO and handloom/powerloom.) In the context of the workforce expanding by about one crore every year, this addition is minuscule and clearly points to the enormous vulnerability that vast sections of the workforce are trapped in.

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