India sees highest unemployment rate in 20 years


According to a report released by the Centre for Sustainable Employment of the Azim Premji University, India is facing the highest rate of unemployment in the last 20 years.

“Unemployment levels have been steadily rising, and after several years of staying around 2-3%, the headline rate of unemployment reached 5% in 2015, with youth unemployment being a very high 16%,” the report said.

This rising unemployment has been termed by the report as a “new” problem for India.

“It used to be said that India’s problem is not unemployment but underemployment and low wages. But a new feature of the economy is a high rate of open unemployment, which is now over five percent overall, and a much higher 16%t for the youth and the higher educated. The increase in unemployment is clearly visible all across India, but is particularly severe in the northern states,” the report said.

The report has also stated that the growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has not resulted in a proportionate rise in employment. “A 10 per cent increase in GDP now results in less than 1 per cent increase in employment,” the report observes.

One of the other problems listed out by the report is the problem of low wages. According to the report, 82 per cent of men and 92 per cent of women earn less than Rs 10,000 per month.

“Nationally, 67% of households reported monthly earnings of up to Rs 10,000 in 2015. In comparison, the minimum salary recommended by the Seventh Central Pay Commission (CPC) is Rs 18,000 per month. This suggests that a large majority of Indians are not being paid what may be termed a living wage, and it explains the intense hunger for government jobs. 90% of industries even in the organised manufacturing sector pay wages below the CPC minimum. The situation is worse in the unorganised sector,” it said.

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi took a dig at PM Modi terming it as “PM’S-KILL India Program.”

Quoting a news article, the Congress Chief wrote, “PM’S-KILL India Program. 30,000 Cr stolen from HAL and given to a man with no SKILLS in making aircraft. Meanwhile, millions of SKILLED youngsters face the highest unemployment rate in twenty years.”

Indeed, it is time for us to remind Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his promise of generating 2 crore jobs annually, or was it just one of his many jumlas?

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