Unemployment debate: It is the population growth, damn it!!

In January, it was said that India’s unemployment rate in 2017-18 stood at 45-year high of 6.1%. It had quoted a government’s yet-to-be-released report, the National Sample Survey Office’s periodic labour force survey. This was also the first comprehensive employment survey after demonetisation (of November 2016). After the opposition attacked the government over it, the then minister for statistics told Lok Sabha in February that the data was still being processed and “what you are citing is a fake report”. Never mind the further debate as the Opposition was least concerned with the problem and Government did not want to deal with it in an election season.

The report on unemployment:

Now the ‘proper’ report has been released and the facts seem to same. The report data shows 7.8% of all employable urban youth were jobless, while the figure for rural youth was 5.3 %. Joblessness among men across India was 6.2%, while it was 5.7% in case of females. The quarterly figures of unemployment are even higher.

Who needed this report?

It is already known in just concluded elections that a whopping 9 crore new voters joined the electorate. These people did not arrive in airplanes from other countries or other planet. They were born here. They completed 18 years of age and are now part of electorate as well as work force. 9 crore would be around 18% of work force. It means 10% got jobs.

The real issue is population growth. The moment this real issue is raised by anyone like Baba Ramdev, there is an attempt to obfuscate the issue.

Unemployment as an issue is linked with economy and industrialisation. It is linked with labour laws which do not permit an employer to fire an employee, once hired. There is no solution to unemployment by any magic wand. The economy has to perform two digit growth. Opposition should debate on these issues. But then how much does this opposition know and when will it know?

However the real issue is population growth. Would politicians smell the coffee and deal with the real issue?

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