The root problem of unemployment in India seems no end, as almost 11 million Indians lost their jobs during 2018, a report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) said.
The report contains the individuals belonging to vulnerable groups being the worst hit by job losses in 2018. It showed that the number of unemployed has been steadily increasing in the country.
The number of employed recorded in December 2018 was at 397 million, which is 10.9 million less than the figure of 407.9 million seen a year ago at the end of December 2017.
“India’s unemployment rate shot up to 7.4 per cent in December 2018. This is the highest unemployment rate we’ve seen in 15 months. The rate has increased sharply from the 6.6 per cent clocked in November,” the report said.
The marginal decline seen in November was possibly an aberration in a trend that indicates towards a steady decline in jobs.
The report stated that this analysis, however, is only a preliminary insight into the job scenario during the months of September to December, and are bound to have a margin for error which will be eliminated in further studies over next couple of months.
While employment estimates have been volatile between September and December, when month-over-month employment estimates have increased or declined by 5-7 million, the overall trend has shown a steep decline.
‘More Unemployed Women’
A closer observation of the unemployment trends shows that while people in both rural and urban India have been hit, most of the jobs losses were reported from former region. “An estimated 9.1 million jobs were lost in rural India while the loss in urban India was 1.8 million jobs. Rural India accounts for two-thirds of India’s population, but it accounted for 84 per cent of the job losses,” the report stated.
Women were significantly impacted by job losses during 2018, where out of the 11 million jobs lost, women accounted for 8.8 million jobs whereas men lost only 2.2 million jobs. Around 6.5 million rural women lost their jobs, whereas the figure for urban women was at 2.3 million. Men on the other hand were not as affected by the job losses. Urban men gained 5,00,000 jobs, whereas rural men lost 2.3 million jobs, the CMIE report said.
People belonging to age groups between 40 years to 59 years kept their jobs, while all other age groups saw jobs shrinking, the report said. Around 3.7 million salaried employees lost jobs in 2018. Also, job losses were concentrated among the uneducated, as well as wage labourers, agricultural labourers and small traders. The latter three were also the worst affected in terms of employment during the aftermath of demonetisation.
“So, the break-down of employment statistics by the various attributes of respondents discussed above tells us that a person who lost the job in 2018 mostly fits a profile like – is a woman, particularly a woman in rural India, is uneducated and is engaged as a wage labourer or a farm labourer or is a small-scale trader and is aged either less than 40 years or more than 60 years,” the report said.