Vol. 1, Issue 2 (2016)
Employment: Unemployment Situation in India: Some Results from NSS Rounds
Author(s): Tanu Kathuria
Abstract: In India, increase in employment opportunities, both in urban and rural areas to solve the problem of unemployment has been recognized as an important objective of economic planning. For formulation and monitoring of plans to solve the unemployment problem in the country, the importance of up-to-date and reliable statistics on various aspects of unemployment needs to be emphasized. However, an over emphasis on employment generation without any regard to productivity and incomes of workers is also not desirable particularly in India where productivity and income levels are low and increasing the number of ‘working poor’. Accordingly, the emphasis should be placed not only on increasing employment levels but on increasing high-quality, productive employment and improving the productivity of the labour through skill-development efforts. The present study presents the estimates pertaining to employment – unemployment situation in India since 1980s along with various characteristics associated with them. Study also goes beyond this and measured the employment elasticity to analyse the relationship between growth and employment. For the level of aggregation, the author has considered separately the four segments differentiated by gender and rural-urban location: rural males; rural females; urban males and urban females. The study concludes that the demand for skills has been rapidly changing over the past decades. Understanding the extent of “mismatch” between the qualifications held by workers or their skills proficiency, and the qualifications or the skills required in the jobs is crucial for policy makers. There is thus a need to ensure the development of improved vocational and technical education system. It not only requires the strengthening of public educational institutions but also the private educational and training institutions needs to be monitored closely for the quality of teaching they offer and the fee structure they have.