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Youth form 83 percent of India's unemployed workforce, but job opportunities have grown: ILO report

Despite these concerning statistics, the ILO report also highlights positive trends, including growth in overall job opportunities and a decline in the unemployment rate over recent years. Various initiatives and government policies have contributed to fostering job creation and economic empowerment

Youths form 83 per cent of India's unemployed workforce, but job opportunities have grown: ILO report
First Published Apr 25, 2024, 11:19 AM IST

Worrying statistics have surfaced regarding India's unemployment crisis in a report brought by the International Labour Organization (ILO), with a particular focus on the country's youth demographic. According to the report, a striking 83% of the nation's unemployed workforce comprises young individuals. This revelation, drawn from various authoritative sources including the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and the National Career Services (NCS) portal, paints a concerning picture of the challenges faced by India's job market.

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Positive Trends Amidst Challenges

However, amidst these challenges, the report also highlights positive trends indicating growth in overall job opportunities and a decline in the unemployment rate over recent years. Data from the PLFS covering a six-year span reveals a significant uptick in both labour participation rate and worker population ratio. 

From 2017-18 to 2022-23, employment in India surged from 46.8% to 56%, accompanied by a noteworthy rise in labour force participation from 49.8% to 57.9%. Simultaneously, the unemployment rate witnessed a substantial drop from 6% to 3.2%, indicating a favourable shift in the job market dynamics.

Narrowing Rural-Urban Disparities

Further analysis of the report showcases a narrowing gap in unemployment rates between rural and urban areas. Over the same period, unemployment rates in rural areas decreased from 5.3% to 2.4%, while urban centres witnessed a decline from 7.7% to 5.4%, indicating an improvement in employment opportunities across diverse geographical regions.

Improvements in Gender and Youth Employment

Encouragingly, there has been a notable reduction in female unemployment, plummeting from 5.6% in 2017-18 to 2.9% in 2022-23. Similarly, youth unemployment rates saw a significant decline from 17.8% to 10% during the period under analysis, showcasing efforts to address the pressing issue of youth unemployment.

Education and Employment Opportunities

The report also highlights a surge in employment opportunities for educated individuals, with the employment rate for graduates rising from 49.7% in 2017-18 to 55.8% in 2022-23, and for postgraduates and above, from 67.8% to 70.6%.

Government Initiatives and Policy Impacts

Government initiatives such as the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) and Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY) have played a significant role in fostering job creation and economic empowerment. Additionally, flagship programs like Make in India, Start-up India, and Digital India have contributed to generating employment opportunities across various sectors.

Surge in Job Vacancies and NCS Utilization

The report highlights a remarkable surge of 214% in job vacancies on the NCS portal in 2023-24 compared to the previous year. With over 25.58 lakh registered employers and approximately one million active job vacancies daily, the NCS platform has emerged as a crucial hub for accessing employment opportunities.

Sectoral Growth and Future Outlook

Significantly, sectors such as finance, insurance, construction, manufacturing, transportation, IT, and communications have witnessed substantial increases in job vacancies, indicating positive momentum in economic recovery.

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