India’s unemployment rate may show decline but the country is currently under “Jobless Growth”

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India’s unemployment rate was recorded 6.52 per cent in March 2021. According to the statistics presented by Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), country’s unemployment rate got better from last year. The data shows 23.52 per cent unemployment rate in April 2020 whereas unemployment rate in April 2021 is 7.6 which is being considered a positive shift comparatively.

Mentioned briefly about the unemployment rate, urban areas witnessed 16.5 per cent fall in the particular graph. In April 2020, the graph reached 24.95 per cent specifically in urban areas but in April 2021, the graph is going down to 8.9 per cent. Sujata was a college student in Ahmedabad and has graduated last year in 2020. Completed her degree in BBA, she waited for college placement to get a proper job but due to the pandemic she suffered just like many others. Although, currently she is working with a private firm but is settling with a low paid job. She told Eat News, “Well it was a nightmare for all the students who graduated in 2020 because nothing went as per plan. We all were waiting for the placements, the proper process of meeting professionals and performing in interviews, but everything was ruined. I got this job. According to my degree and the experience, I am not receiving balanced remuneration. But looking around, the situation we are in, I am happy at least I have a job.“ Just like Sujata, career of number of students were hit by the unexpected wave of pandemic. According to the information available, every year on an average 29.2 million students enroll for graduation in India.  

Same as urban areas, rural region of the country is also highly affected by the pandemic. Mr. Santosh is a teacher in an elementary school in Chamba village in Uttarakhand. He teaches basic subjects to students and is doing this from past 8 years. “During the initial stage of pandemic, we also tried to organize online classes for the students to save their academic loss but since we live in north and the area is surrounded by mountains, it was difficult after a point to catch network and we were left with no option but to stop.“ He added, “Since it’s a private school, I did not receive my salary for months. Some of us were told that were about to get fire due to the situation. And that now some teachers will be hired on contract basis.“ Mr. Santosh luckily still has job but he cannot predict future. The unemployment rate in rural areas in April 2020 was 22.89 per cent whereas currently it is 7 per cent.

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Amit Singh, an economist discussed with Eat News and commented on this. He briefly explained the situation. “The economy is picking up and the people who lost their jobs are getting it back in the same company in some cases. Ever since the lockdown has ended completely and the news of vaccination has come up, there has been a sudden positive sentiment risen among the industries. The tourism and hospitality and the transportation sector started to open up and are running good at the moment as compared to when the pandemic hit us last year“, said Amit.

He further added, “The tourism and hospitality sector, transport and real estate too are hit tremendously. Because the constant weekends lockdown and night curfew are affecting small restaurants, tourists, can owners, private bus services eminently. The reason I have mentioned real estate is because since people are losing their jobs and are in constant fear of uncertain future, only a handful are buying homes to live or as an investment.’ He talked about how work from home culture is also affecting the business. “On the other hand, ever since the work from home pattern, several companies have started to stop paying rent to the commercial builders or have opted out from rent and this is causing heavy loss on the pockets of the commercial builders (be it malls, shopping plazas, buildings in IT parks) and most of the companies that have opted out are the start up companies operating in the metros.“

According to the data available, India’s unemployment rate has declined in past few years. In 2016, it was 5.51 per cent, in 2017 it was recorded 5.42 per cent, in 2018 it was calculated 5.33 per cent and in 2019 it was 5.36 per cent. But still youth unemployment rate got poor. As per the statistics, in 2016 youth unemployment rate was recorded 22.58 per cent whereas in 2017 it was 22.72 per cent and it got increased in 2018 by 0.13 per cent. In 2019 it was 23.34 per cent. Reports and experts are claiming that Indian economy is about to grow in upcoming years but looking at the youth unemployment rate going down each year, is this situation can be called as “Jobless growth“?

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In the opinion of Amit Singh, “Yes, but only till FY22 because till then the market situation will improve for sure since the major population will be vaccinated till then as recently the government has given an INR 4500 crore worth of booster to the vaccine manufacturers and they are producing it exponentially. So, this will motivate the industries to operate smoothly and also because recently among the many developed and developing nations, India has received the highest foreign investments.“ He also said, “This shows that in near future the investments will surely boost the economy and thrust its way to newer heights. But yes, in the current scenario there is jobless growth in the market. Also, another reason for this jobless growth is the income inequality as during the initial phase of pandemic, many people were losing their jobs meanwhile businessmen were getting richer.“

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Shefali Ranawat is an Eat News correspondent in India. She want to be the voice of people. Also, she aim to be a war correspondent.

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Eat News is a Taiwanese digital media, analyzes current events and issues through column articles, videos, visual aid, and exclusive interviews.

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