Increasing unemployment in India is creating serious threats to social equanimity, if this is not already been disrupted. With reports of Indians featuring on the list of richest men in the world, coupled with the fact that the rich are getting richer and poor are turning poorer in our country, the divide between the haves and the have-nots emerges as a critical social issue. It is time to be wary of fallouts of social disparity and look for ways to create employment opportunities.
Unemployment records in India are kept by Ministry of Labour and Employment of India. Even the UN keeps tabs on this issue and as per the UN Labour Report unemployment is projected to witness marginal increase between 2017 and 2018 signaling stagnation in job creation in India. The United Nations International Labour Organisation released its 2017 World Employment and Social Outlook report early this year. It projects economic growth trends lagging behind employment needs. It also predicts rising unemployment and worsening social inequality throughout 2017.
In the present socio-economic scenario in our country it appears difficult to expect that employment options for the needy will pick up pace, anytime soon – either in what is left of the year or even in coming 2018. As job scarcity rises, what it really represents is a sad stagnation in percentage of people unable to remain gainfully employed. According to the UN report: “Unemployment in India is projected to increase from 17.7 million last year to 17.8 million in 2017 and 18 million next year. In percentage terms, unemployment rate will remain at 3.4 per cent in 2017-18”.
This is a dismal forecast, that in the same report makes projections stating that global unemployment levels and rates were expected to remain high in the short term! So even as the global labour force continues to grow, unemployment for our country shows that more unemployed people will be facing challenges to make a living. This will significantly affect inequality in incomes and wealth creation, thereby creating further disparities.
As we well know that the employment structure of an economy is the normal instrument that may cause changes in inequality, often for the worse. Since the government functions within its administrative and fiscal constraints, targeted programmes for employment generation only marginally impact income redistribution. Income flow on a larger scale can be influenced only when assets are made available along with promotion of new modes of employment opportunities.
In India, unemployed persons are individuals who are without income generating activities and who actively attempt to being gainfully employed. According to the India Skills Report launched in the 3rd CII National Conference on Skill Development only about 3.4% were found employable out of about 1, 00,000 candidates! This report not only captured the real skill levels of the talent pool that was created but also laid out the hiring estimates across major Industry sectors in the country.
It is clear that skills development is an area requiring urgent attention. A general trend seen to be readily acceptable by employers today is that they look for skills rather than qualifications, broadly speaking. Even so, despite having several sectors available – BFSI, BPO/ITES, manufacturing and so on, these do not bring on the expected changes in hiring patterns. Engineering, Hospitality and Travel have emerged as sectors with probable increase in the hiring numbers. What is then clear is that we need to develop a skilled employable pool (based on gender, age-group, identified domain, and so on) to facilitate entry as per industry needs.
HERD Foundation runs projects that help to homogenize society and that builds awareness on the need for economic well-being. Our development plans take on interventions that widen the scope for the poorest and marginalized people. We know for sure that skills development will be conducive for their betterment, besides creating a cadre of skilled workers. We are very keen to transform the existing unemployment scenario by provide employment-oriented education. The development of manpower for employment opportunities is a strategic necessity for accelerating economic growth. We are open to partnerships in this area, and seek hand-holding and support for such initiatives.