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In Focus

June, 15

Without jobs our Demographic Dividend will become a Demographic Disaster

The question that is on the minds of every Indian is, “Where are the Jobs?” Based on current evidence, there is no hope that the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi will answer this question. The rise in unemployment and the woeful rate of job growth is a serious concern for the Indian economy. With millions joining the work force every year and the Government incapable of creating an environment for job growth, India’s much touted Demographic Dividend will turn into a Demographic Disaster.

Attacking the Prime Minister, Shri Rahul Gandhi said that there have been long speeches, yet nothing has been done for job creation in India. Taking a dig at the Government, he said, “Government has many schemes; Start Up India, Stand Up India, sit down India, move left India, go right India but no employment generation.”

When the Central Statistics Office released the full-year growth estimates for 2016-17, the data showed that sectors like construction, manufacturing, retail trade, transportation and communication, which contributed more than two-thirds of all new employment generated after 2004-05 sharply decelerated last year. Faced with such a situation, any other Government would be trying to take remedial measures as soon as possible, but Shri Narendra Modi has refused to even acknowledge the seriousness of this problem, citing a lack of data, despite there being numerous Government reports and surveys which shows that since 2014 he has been unable to create even half a million jobs.

If you look at the data put out by the Labour Bureau surveys, the total number of workers in the job market was 460 million as on 1 March 2014. This declined sharply to 444 million by 1 July 2015. This means that in the first year of the government itself, the extent of job losses was almost 16 million. The agriculture sector lost 12 million jobs during this period. And the non-farm sector lost 4 million jobs.

During the run up to General Elections in 2014, Shri Narendra Modi promised to create 2 crore (20 million) jobs. Yet, in the first year of his government, India managed to lose 16 million jobs. Even as we await data for this year, there are numerous reports that the IT sector will lose close to 600,000 jobs over the next 3 years.

The most significant decision of the Narendra Modi Government has been the disastrous decision of Demonetisation. As this wreaked havoc on our economy, it also hid the fact that our economy was already on a downswing before this fateful, and indeed foolish, decision. With almost all sectors showing a downward swing in the first two Quarters of 2016-17, the Government needed to take a corrective decision. The Economy needed a boost, which could generate more jobs, instead we got Demonetisation and more job losses.

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