Unemployment in India is at its highest in 45 years

Muriel Colon
February 1, 2019

The report was not released despite being vetted by the National Statistical Commission in December, allege two non-independent members who quit the data collating body on Tuesday.

This is the same stance the government adopted when GDP back-series data was released by a sub-committee of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) past year.

The report that states the country's unemployment rate raised to a 45-year-high in 2017-2018 are "not verified" and the "veracity of the data is not known", NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Thursday.

Speaking about the report, he said, "The government had not released the data (on jobs) as it is still being processed".

The unemployment rate was much higher in urban areas with 7.8% rather than rural areas of 5.3%. "It is not correct to use this report as final", Kumar said.

"You can't be growing at 7.2 per cent and say no jobs are being created".


Though India's economy has been expanding by 7 percent plus annually, uneven growth has meant that new jobs are not keeping pace.

"NoMo Jobs!" Rahul Gandhi wrote on Twitter adding, "The Fuhrer (a term used by Nazi Germany for its ruler Adolf Hitler) promised us 2 Cr jobs a year".

The report showed frighteningly high levels of unemployment among the young, with 18.7 percent of urban males aged between 15-29 without work, and a jobless rate of 27.2 percent for urban females in the same age group. The economy is creating enough jobs for the new entrants but people are exiting low-productivity agricultural jobs, he said, citing examples of Ola and Uber Technologies drivers without clarifying an overlap among the drivers who have registered for both the ride-hailing services.

In a similar trend, the labour force participating rate (LFPR) -the portion of the population working or seeking job -declined from 36.9 per cent in 2017-18 as against 39.5 per cent in 2011-12.

This data was collected by the NSSO between July 2017 and June 2018 - and is the first official survey that at the country's employment situation after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of high-value currency notes in November 2016.

Critics say PM Modi's push for raising the share of domestic manufacturing from 17 percent of GDP to about 25 percent has not taken off over the last four years. "The government has to make the data public as soon as possible", added Anamitra Roy Chowdhury, a labour economist with the Centre for Informal Sector & Labour Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University. The BJP claimed that the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) data on job creation show "sharp increase" in employment generation.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER