UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 1 February 2022

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What the article is about?

  • Talks about the trends in employment in India and way ahead measures

Syllabus: GS-III Issues relating to growth and development, employment

Employment patterns:

  • Periodic Labour Force Survey(PLFS) data:
    • Increase in worker to population ratio (WPR) from 34.7% in 2017-18 to 38.2% in 2019-20 -> Employment increased at a faster rate than the growth in population.
    • The gap between the male and female worker participation rate is narrowing down.
      • Women constituted 24% of the workforce in 2017-18 and 28.8% in 2019-20
    • The unemployment rate in the female labour force in rural areas is far lower than the male labour force, whereas the opposite holds true in urban areas.
    • The unemployment rate based on principal status plus subsidiary status declined from 6.1% in 2017-18 to 4.8% in 2019-20.
      • This shows that the number of jobs increased at a faster rate than the increase in the number of job seekers between 2017-18 and 2019-20.
    • The sectoral composition of the workforce shows that 45.6% of the workers in India are engaged in agriculture and allied activities, 30.8% in services and 23.7% in industry.
    • Between 2019-20 and 2017-18, 56.4 million new jobs were created.
      • Out of this, 57.4% were created in the agriculture and allied sectors, 28.5% in services and 14.5% in industry.
    • That a majority of the new entrants to the labour force between 2017-18 and 2019-20 got absorbed in the agriculture sector has serious implications. 

Way Ahead:

  • We should rethink our strategy of striving for an industry-led growth model and explore a more relevant agri-centric model of economic transformation to create more attractive, more remunerative and more satisfying employment in and around agriculture.
  • There is also an urgent need to generate much more employment in the manufacturing and services sector compared to the number of jobs they have offered in the recent past. This should include
    • changes in labour laws that discourage industry to adopt labour-intensive production
    • employment-linked production incentives and;
    • special assistance for labour-intensive economic activities.

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