02 November, 2019
3 Min Read
Syllabus subtopic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment
News: The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has released a report on Unemployment in India.
Prelims focus: Key findings of the report.
Mains focus: Concerns, reasons for rise in unemployment, challenges ahead and steps to be taken to address them.
Most of the decline in employment has happened due to the fall in the number of workers in agriculture and a sharp fall in the absolute number of female workers- Roughly 37 million workers left agriculture in the last six years. During the same time, 25 million women workers were out of the workforce.
While the trend of workers moving out of agriculture is seen since 2004-05 and is welcome, it also points to the rising vulnerability of farm production.
No doubt, the problem is not new and even earlier governments are to be blamed for the mess that the economy is in. Unfortunately, blaming the data or earlier governments does not make people who are looking for jobs vanish from the country. Stagnant wages and jobless growth are not just indicators of a weakening economy, but also a recipe for political instability and a crisis in the countryside. The least that is expected of the government is an acknowledgement of the extent of the problem and then try to address it.
Steps to be taken:
Falling manufacturing employment and decelerating construction employment growth are bad news for the economy.
To sustain the growth of income, improve standard of living, and to reduce poverty, employment opportunities in manufacturing and construction (although a transitory sector) is necessary.
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