No Jobs, Rising Workforce: Government Confronts Its Worst Nightmare

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Lakhanpal, a 41-year-old visually impaired post-graduate in Bhopal, has just one more year to reach the cut-off age for a government job. His efforts to get a private sector job have failed. “I had been shortlisted for Railways but finally it didn’t work out. All I want is a stable job,” says the man who has become a father of a baby girl recently.

Lakhanpal is now part of worrying job statistic in India. A survey by the Labour Bureau across eight key sectors like textiles, automobiles, leather industry point out that no jobs were created in the last three months of 2015. Between July and September last year, only 1.34 lakhs jobs were created. But the demand for jobs far exceeds this as nearly 10 lakh people join the work force every month.

Union Labour Ministry, however, said that the bulk of the jobs are in unorganised sector and the survey doesn’t consider them.

“Since Independence, the focus has been on the organised sector. But 93 per cent of our workforce is in the informal sector. Our effort is to bring them to the formal sector and offer the same social security benefits as the formal sector,” Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya told NDTV.

With global economic slowdown affecting exports and manufacturing, the government is now focusing on the IT sector.

“We have tied up with BPOs as part of Make in India programme. And that would create more than 80,000 jobs,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Telecom and Information Technology.

While Left-backed trade unions blame the government policy, the RSS-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh says job slowdown is fall out of automation in industry.

Pawan Kumar, a joint secretary in the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, said: “Earlier, a big textile mill would employ more than 10,000 workers. Now, the same job can be done by 500 people. That’s one reason for lack of jobs. The way forward is to encourage self-employment.”

According to conventional economic theories, jobs follow economic growth but many believe that’s not happening despite a reasonably healthy GDP growth rate. And unless this changes soon, India is staring at the prospect of jobless growth

Courtesy: NDTV India

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