50 lakh men lost jobs from 2016-18: Report

50 lakh men lost jobs from 2016-18: Report

A report published by Azim Premji University on Tuesday revealed that between 2016 and 2018 fifty lakh men lost jobs in India. State of Working India (SWI) 2019 report prepared by Centre for Sustainable Employment (CSE) at the university stated that the job loss coincided with demonetisation though they could not establish any direct link to the currency note ban.

The report says unemployment has risen steadily after 2011 and the rate could be around 6 per cent in 2018 which is double that of 10 years prior to 2011.

Due to the absence of the official survey from the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), the CSE relied upon the Consumer Pyramids Survey of the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE-CPDX), which has covered about 160,000 households and 522,000 individuals throughout the country in three phases between 2016 and 2018.

A comparison of labour market estimates from the three surveys (SWI 2019/APU)

The big revelation of the report is the loss of jobs in the informal sector since 2016 along with unemployment among the higher educated. Higher educated and young population aged in the bracket of 20-24 are comprising the most number of unemployed. Moreover, women are worse affected and among them, the unemployment rate is high as well as low labour force participation rates (11%) compare to men (71.8%) in 2018. 

There is a huge female-male disparity in unemployment rate too. While male unemployment rate 4.9, the female rate is 14.2. Among workforce participation rate also female (9.4) is much lower than male (68.3), while the national rate is 40.4 percent. Among urban women, graduates are 10 per cent of the working age population but 34 per cent of the unemployed.

The report finds some improvement in the unemployment rate in 2018 (6 per cent) compare to 2017, which is 4.4 percent.

Trends in the labourforce participation rates in rural and urban areas since 2016, for men (SWI 2019/APU)

Post demonetisation, the labour force participation in both urban and rural areas has shown a steep decline and the trend continued till the end of 2018. Labour force participation among the people with low education in urban areas is lower than that of rural areas. Also, highly educated people have some improvement in both urban and rural areas.

The State of Working India report conforms with recent news reports on unemployment published in various media outlets.

As a remedy to unemployment, the report recommends some measures such as urban employment guarantee, universal basic services, reimagining industrial policy and fiscal policy to generate jobs.