Unemployment And Underemployment

The unemployment data, at present, does not capture much but the level of unemployment. It does not measure whether the individual is employed for doing a job that matches his skill set the best. “For that, you need a survey. You have to match people with the qualification and the jobs they should have. We don’t have any ready data source from which underemployment of this degree can be measured,” said Economists. More importantly, what is happening is that engineers are being employed in what will technically be called an engineering job on paper but are getting around Rs 10,000 per month. These are not some riffraff jobs but proper industrial jobs which have been generated through the layers of informality and payment arrangements in the sectors. This is again not the traditional kind of underemployment but you are being treated like a daily labourer. Even Delhi University employs half of the teachers on an ad-hoc basis. They can be sacked with 24 hours notice. Now, the trend is to have guest lecturers who get paid on a daily basis or per-lecture basis. This is a very vulnerable and extremely low quality of employment. The natural progression to the solution brings us to the first agent – the candidate. Why aren’t the educated youth getting jobs? The answer lies in the details of the skills they have got. Soft skills are the deal-breaker in today’s world, said Dr Shahani, an economist. “The Indian government is not going to do anything and neither will the companies. It really is up to to the individual to upskill. The institutions still manage to educate the graduates in the hard skills, but the problem lies with the soft skills like communication, teamworking ability etc. There needs to be a sea change right from school to instil more confidence in the students with better soft skills along with the hard skills that they are learning,” he added. To absorb the influx of labourers from the new generation and the ones released from agricultural sectors, the country will need about 12 million additional “gainful non-farm jobs every year starting in fiscal-year 2023, triple the four million non-farm jobs created annually between 2012 and 2018”. “If an additional 55 million women enter the labour force, at least partially correcting historical under-representation, India’s job creation imperative would be greater,” said the report titled India’s Turning Point, an economic agenda to spur growth and jobs. If left to sort itself out, the economy will spiral into a worse future than foreseen.

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