Unemployment hits graduates, postgraduates hard

The number of people with a graduate degree or a higher degree looking for jobs is roughly equal to the entire population of Bengaluru

The unemployment rate among graduates and postgraduates is three times higher than the national average for unemployment among people of all educational levels.

According to a study titled ‘State of Working India’ carried out by the Centre for Sustainable Employment at Azim Premji University, the unemployment rate among graduates and postgraduates stands at 16.3% and 14.2%, respectively.

The national average across all educational levels is pegged at 5%.

The number of people with a graduate degree or a higher degree looking for jobs is roughly equal to the entire population of Bengaluru, which is 8.5 million as per the 2011 census, the study said.

“The unemployment rate is the share of the labour force that is not part of the workforce. By the principal status criterion, these are people over 15 years of age who are looking for work but do not have at least six months of employment,” the study said.

“This proportion in 2015 was 5%, up significantly from the much lower 2.7% as per the National Sample Survey and 3.8% as per the Labour Bureau in 2011,” the study says.

This rate of unemployment is the highest in India in at least 20 years, according to the study.

The lowest rate of unemployment is among the uneducated and those educated till primary school at 2% and 1.8%, respectively.

A 10% increase in GDP now results in less than 1% increase in employment, the study said.

The unemployed are also disproportionately young. More than 60% of them are in the 15-25 year age group.

In contrast, this group constitutes only 30% of the total working age population.

Also, they are largely male, as the study reveals that 60% of the unemployed are men. “So, what we have is a larger-than-ever-before population of educated young unemployed men, which is a cause for concern,” the study says.

In fact, the unemployment rate in the 15-25 year group is much higher at 17%, similar to the rate among the college-educated.

The debate around job creation has been a prime political discourse in the country lately, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi promising creation of two crore jobs annually in the run-up to 2014 general elections.

In the recent past, there was a huge debate on job creation during the build-up to the Karnataka Assembly elections.

Although the headline rate of unemployment in Karnataka is lower than the rest of the country, the type and quality of jobs leave a lot to be desired, the study reveals.

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Unemployment hits graduates, postgraduates hard

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