Unemployment rate at its highest since 1972, news report quotes NSSO survey
India is facing a massive unemployment crisis with joblessness at the highest in nearly five decades. According to the survey findings reported by a business newspaper, the country is facing unprecedented unemployment of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18 the highest since 1972-73. The assessment survey by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) was conducted between July 2017 and June 2018.
A war of words between the Congress and the BJP erupted over the leaked job creation report card on Friday. In a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi Government, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the data revealed a “National Disaster”. In reaction, the BJP quickly responded and termed it as “#FakeNews!”
The report has not been made public with two members of the National Statistical Commission alleging the Government was delaying the data. The NSSO report on job data has been at the centre of much controversy after two non-governmental members of the National Statistical Commission (NSC), PC Mohanan and JV Meenakshi, stepped down on Monday amid “disagreements” with the Government over the functioning of the commission earlier this week.
Meanwhile, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, who had previously mounted a defence of lowering of UPA-era GDP growth rates, claimed the report cited by the newspaper “is not finalised. It is a draft report”.
The Aayog claimed that estimating employment generated in the recent years is education enrollment that increased from 101 million in 2011-12 to 112 million in 2017. Refusing to comment on the content of the news report, the Niti Aayog chief said the Government will release its employment report by March after collating quarter-on-quarter data. He also debunked claims of jobless growth, saying how a country can grow at an average of 7 per cent without employment.
Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, who too was present at the conference, said India is creating adequate number of jobs for new entrants, but “probably we are not creating high quality jobs”. The NSSO job report was previously planned to be released in December 2018.
The draft of the NSSO survey reportedly shows that at 7.8 per cent, joblessness is higher in the urban areas of the country than in rural parts, where it was 5.3 per cent. “Among urban males aged between 15 and 29, unemployment stood at 18.7 per cent as opposed to 8.1 per cent in 2011-12. Among urban females, it was 27.2 per cent in 2017-18; it was 13.1 per cent in 2011-12. The unemployment rate among youth reached a record high level in 2017-18 as compared to previous year and “much higher compared to that in the overall population”, highlighted the report.
“For educated rural females, the unemployment rate ranged from 9.7 per cent to 15.2 per cent between 2004-05 and 2011-12, which rose to 17.3 per cent in 2017-18,” the report said. In case of rural educated males, the joblessness rate surged to 10.5 per cent in 2017-18 from 3.5-4.4 per cent between 2004-05 and 2011-12.
For instance, the rate of joblessness among rural males in the age group of 15-29 years jumped more than three folds to 17.4 per cent in 2017-18 versus 5 per cent in 2011-12. In case of female youth in rural areas, unemployment rate stood at 13.6 per cent in 2017-18 as compared to 4.8 per cent in 2011-12,” the report said.
Countering the media report, Niti Aayog has cited McKinsey Global Institute’s report on “India’s Labour Market — A new emphasis on Gainful Employment’ (2017)” which estimates that a combination of increased Government spending, additional IT hiring, the rise of independent work and an increase in entrepreneurship created gainful employment between 20 million and 26 million people between 2014 and 2017.
Similarly, Surjit Bhalla & Tirtha Das (2018) in their report estimates net job creation as 22.1 million for the 2013-2017 period — a pace considerably higher than the 11 million jobs created between 2004-5 and 2011-12.
Mohandas Pai & Baid (September 2018) pointed out that cumulatively, from the formal and informal sectors, India generates over 1 crore jobs each year.
As per NITI Aayog, as many as16,970 new chartered accountants were added to the workforce in 2017 with around 5,624 new practices setting up shop, which would have created further additional jobs.
Similarly, doctors & lawyers added approximately 80,000 to the labour force in 2017. Summing up ancillary staff members (clerks, paralegals, nurses, etc) required to set up practices by these professions, over 6 lakh jobs were contributed through just these three professions in the informal sector. “Total stock of employment created through these three professions (CA, lawyers & doctors) is around 1.08 crore (assuming 20 jobs per CA practice, 5 jobs per medical practice, and 3 jobs per law practice),” it said.
Meanwhile, the Congress and the BJP attacked each other on the issue of job creation with Rahul calling Modi “Fuhrer” — a title for Adolf Hitler — for making tall claims; and the BJP hitting back saying Rahul has “inherited the shortsightedness” of Italian strongman “Benito Mussolini”.
Rahul attacked Modi, saying he promised two crore jobs, but five years later a “leaked job creation report card” has revealed a “national disaster”. In a tweet, he also asserted that it was time for the Prime Minister to go.
“NoMo Jobs! The Fuhrer promised us 2 Cr jobs a year. 5 years later, his leaked job creation report card reveals a National Disaster. Unemployment is at its highest in 45 years. 6.5 crore youth are jobless in 2017-18 alone. Time for NoMo 2 Go,” he tweeted with the hashtag “HowsTheJobs”. Fuhrer was a political title used for Nazi dictator Hitler.
Hitting back at Rahul, the BJP alleged that the Congress president has a “myopic understanding” of issues and said only someone who has never held a proper job “can peddle such fake news”. “It’s clear that he has inherited Mussolini’s shortsightedness and has myopic understanding of issues. EPFO’s real data shows sharp increase in jobs, created in just the last 15 months. Only a man who hasn’t ever held a proper job and is totally jobless can peddle such #FakeNews!” the BJP said in a tweet.
In a Facebook post in Hindi, the Congress chief said, “Truth cannot be hidden or buried, it is like a seed, and it doesn’t take long for it to show the mirror to the one who has buried it… Narendra Modi’s betrayal of the youth is in front of everyone today.”
Friday, 01 February 2019 | PNS | New Delhi
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