Q. The gov­ern­ment says the jobs cri­sis is ex­ag­ger­ated. Do you agree? Is there a re­li­able way to un­der­stand/ mea­sure the ex­tent of the prob­lem?

India Today - - COVER STORY -

A. N.R. BHANU­MURTHY

The 2017 Pe­riod Labour Force Sur­vey (PLFS) data, a gov­ern­ment source, sug­gests an un­em­ploy­ment rate of about 6.1%. The rate is higher among the youth. Growth has been de­cel­er­at­ing since then, so one should ex­pect that the un­em­ploy­ment si­t­u­a­tion has de­te­ri­o­rated. This is also reflecting in the sharp fall in pri­vate con­sump­tion.

AJIT RANADE

Part of the cri­sis is be­cause of the ad­vent of in­dus­try 4.0, which threat­ens to dis­place more than 60% of in­dus­trial jobs in In­dia, due to tech­nol­ogy, AI, ro­bot­ics and au­to­ma­tion. The work­force is not skilled enough for fu­ture jobs. Our small, medium and mi­cro sec­tors have been over­whelmed by im­ports from low-cost, high-scale labour fac­to­ries in places like China. We lack good, re­li­able and up to date data from the labour mar­ket, partly be­cause 90% of the labour works as in­for­mal or un­reg­is­tered. To get a bet­ter han­dle on the jobs cri­sis, we need a bet­ter, co­her­ent, co­or­di­nated and tri­an­gu­lated data­base on work, jobs and ap­pli­cants.

MAITREESH GHATAK

PLFS shows an un­em­ploy­ment rate of 6.1%, which is much higher than the un­em­ploy­ment rates of the past 40 years (in the range of 2-3%). If any­thing, this num­ber un­der­states the ex­tent of the prob­lem since, in a poor coun­try like In­dia, with­out un­em­ploy­ment benefits, very few peo­ple have the lux­ury of look­ing for jobs full-time and have to do some­thing to earn a liv­ing, of­ten in the in­for­mal sec­tor. If we took this un­der­em­ploy­ment into ac­count, the prob­lem would look far worse.

—PRONAB SEN

D.K. JOSHI

What is not measured is dif­fi­cult to mon­i­tor. We need to sys­tem­at­i­cally mea­sure em­ploy­ment data using wellde­signed sur­veys. Over time, job in­ten­sity of the GDP has been com­ing down due to au­to­ma­tion, and this trend will con­tinue. With slow­ing growth, it is dif­fi­cult to cre­ate jobs.

R. NA­GARAJ

The jobs cri­sis is grave. Two telling statis­tics, drawn from PLFS 2017-18, are suf­fi­cient to but­tress the point. All-In­dia, be­tween 2011-12 and 201718, (i) open un­em­ploy­ment went up from 2-3% to 6.1%, and (ii) work­erto-pop­u­la­tion ra­tio (a broad mea­sure of em­ploy­ment), for per­sons aged 15 and above, went down from 54.7% to 46.8%. Such a sharp fall was sel­dom wit­nessed in the past four decades.

D.K. SRI­VAS­TAVA

The job cri­sis is real. The most re­li­able way of un­der­stand­ing the cri­sis is to look at GVA growth and its sec­toral com­po­si­tion.

PRONAB SEN

The job cri­sis is cer­tainly not ex­ag­ger­ated, and the data is there to demon­strate it (PLFS and CMIE).

“THE JOB CRI­SIS IS CER­TAINLY NOT EX­AG­GER­ATED. IT IS AMPLY DEMON­STRATED BY THE PLFS AND CMIE DATA”

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