The majority of India’s 900 million workforce stop looking for jobs
The problem of job creation in India is becoming more serious: an increasing number of people are no longer looking for work.
Frustrated by the inability to find the right job, millions of Indians, particularly women, are dropping out of the labor force entirely, according to new data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt, a Mumbai-based private research firm.
With India relying on young workers to drive growth in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, the latest figures are ominous.
The picture is even starker among women. Around 21 million people left the labor force, leaving only 9% of the eligible population employed or looking for work.
With India relying on young workers to drive growth in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, the latest figures are ominous. Between 2017 and 2022, the overall labor participation rate fell from 46% to 40%. The situation is considerably bleaker for women. Around 21 million people dropped out of the labour force, leaving only 9% of the workforce occupied or searching for employment.
The challenges that India faces in terms of job creation are well documented. With roughly two-thirds of the population aged 15 to 64, competition for anything other than menial labor is fierce. Stable government jobs routinely attract millions of applications, and admission to top engineering schools is practically a crapshoot.
With Mr. Narendra Modi’s emphasis on jobs and calls for India to aim for “Amrit Kaal,” or a golden period of development, his cabinet has only had minimal success in addressing the insurmountable population equation. According to a 2020 McKinsey Global Institute report, India needs to create at least 90 million new non-farm jobs by 2030 to keep up with a growing youth population. This would necessitate annual GDP growth of 8% to 8.5 per cent.
According to the CMIE, more than half of the 900 million Indians of legal working age — roughly the population of the United States and Russia combined — do not want to work.
Having made tremendous headway in loosening its economy and enticing multinational corporations such as Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc, India’s reliance ratio will soon continue to climb. Economists fear that the country will be deprived of economic growth. In other words, Indians may get older, but they will not get richer.
The pandemic was preceded by a decline in labor. The economy sputtered in 2016 after the government banned most currency notes in an attempt to stamp out black money. Another challenge was the implementation of a nationwide sales tax around the same time. India has had a difficult time transitioning from an unorganized to a formal economy.
“Because jobs are typically unpleasant to women, women do not join the labour force in huge numbers,” said CMIE’s Mahesh Vyas. “Men, for instance, will change trains to really get to work. “Women, on either hand, are much less inclined to do so. On a large scale, this is taking place.”
The government is taking steps to tackle the issues, including plans to raise the marriageable age for women to 21. As per a recent State Bank analysis, this could boost women’s engagement in the workforce by allowing them to pursue higher degrees and careers.
Changing cultural expectations may be the most challenging part.
According to a 2020 McKinsey Global Institute report, India needs to create at least 90 million new non-farm jobs by 2030 to keep up with a growing youth population. This would necessitate an annual GDP growth rate of 8% to 8.5 %.
“I rely on others for every penny,” said Shivani Thakur, 25, who recently left a hotel job due to irregular hours.
India’s failure to hire young folks could throw the country off track toward becoming a civilized country.
Having made tremendous success in liberalising its economy and luring corporate interests such as Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc, India’s reliance ratio will soon continue to climb. Economists fear that the country will be deprived of economic growth.
The pandemic was preceded by a decline in labor. The economy sputtered in 2016 after the government banned most currency notes in an attempt to stamp out black money. Another challenge was the implementation of a nationwide sales tax around the same time.
India has had a difficult time transitioning from an unorganized to an organized sector.
The reasons for the drop in workforce participation are numerous. The majority of jobless Indians are students or remain mothers.
Many of them rely on rental income, pensions from elderly family members, or government transfers to make ends meet. Others are simply falling behind in terms of having marketable skill sets in a world of rapid technological change.
Thakur began working as a mehndi artist after graduating from college, earning around 20,000 rupees ($260) per month applying henna to the hands of guests at a five-star hotel in the city of Agra.
According to data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), a private research firm in Mumbai, millions of dissatisfied Indians, particularly women, have stopped looking for work and are leaving the labor force entirely in the last five years, Bloomberg on Monday, April 25.
According to data, the overall labor participation rate fell from 46 per cent to 40 per cent between 2017 and 2022.
According to the CMIE report, many women are leaving the workforce due to safety concerns or time-consuming domestic responsibilities. According to the report, despite accounting for 49 per cent of India’s population, women contribute only 18 per cent of the country’s economic output or roughly half the global average.
According to Mahesh Vyas of CMIE, the workforce has not been accommodating to women.
The explanations for the drop in labour force participation are numerous. University students and sit moms are among the idle Indians. Many of them rely on rental income, the pensions of elderly family members, or government transfers. Others are simply falling behind in terms of having marketable skill-sets in a world of rapid technological change.
Women’s reasons are typically tied to internal security and time-consuming duties. Despite the fact that women make up 49% of India’s population, they only contribute 18% of the accounts for its number or nearly half of the world average.
After graduating from high school, Devi began working as a tattoo artist in Agra, earning roughly 20,000 rs ($260) per month by applying mehndi to the industry’s fingers at such a five-star hotel.
However, due to her late working hours, her father and mother asked her to forego this year. They are currently planning to marry her off. She claims that a lifetime of financial independence is slipping away from her.
“The future is being destroyed right in front of my eyes,” Thakur said. “I’ve tried everything to persuade my parents, but nothing has worked.”
Edited by Prakriti Arora