Unemployment propaganda seems to stay here more time than we expect as there is no fruitful solution till now but becomes worst in day by day, and the latest railway vacancies again showed the ugly truth that people tend to forget. The Nation may be the fastest growing economy in the world but that nothing to do with a large number of unemployed people who are still struggling to find a job as the lack of infrastructure fails to create the job opportunities for the mass. The worried part is, the numbers of the jobseekers are rising steadily over the last few months and in February 2018; it reaches 7% that is approximately 31 million unemployed which is highest since October 2016, and the number will be more as fresh graduates will start for looking jobs after few months. If this is not enough, then another shocking fact is most of the PhD scholars are applying for the lower level position like sweeper, driver, technicians, and cleaner. However, the present government is responsible for the current situation as it failed to fulfill the promise of 25 million jobs per year in its manifesto, but it is not a single government problem because every government is failed to resolve the issue that is increasing in an alarming rate.
The ugly reality
In an average, 12 million job seekers are entering the market in every year, and the harsh reality is neither the current nor future government can do anything to help such large number of unemployed people. According to a statistics, the economy is growing at 7 % whereas the job is 1 % only and in 2016 over nine month periods in between April to October, 2.3 lakh jobs have been created across eight sectors which is far away from the promise and a sign of uncontrollable situation in future. The ineffective training that has no use for improving the skills is another reason of the increasing unemployment where government-approved institutes are fulfilling the target just to get more funding that has nothing to do with the job creation except wasting of taxpayers’ money. Though the government abandoned its plan to train 50 crore people till 2022 through Skill India program due to its ineffectiveness, still failed to create an alternative. As per the report of January; for the peon level positions in Rajasthan Assembly Secretariat, 12000 candidates applied that includes engineers, lawyers, and charted accountant and postgraduates. The massive protest in last month for the railway recruitment showed the anger among the unemployed people and the ground reality of the fastest growing economy that provides a big market for the MNCs but a little opportunity for its citizens.
During the period of demonetization, the unemployment rate decreased from 48% to 46% but was not the sign of employment because most of the aspiring candidates signed up for the new courses to enhance their skills, though in July 2017 the rate came to 43% straight from 46% (before demonetization it was 48%) but again became 44% in February 2018. The Reserve Bank efforts to bring back the labor force is not enough as it is still trying to recover, and the participation level is not same as the pre-demonetization era, but there are not enough jobs for the returning work-force which makes the situation from bad to worst. The government's formalization approach after the demonetization and implementation of GST makes it complicated for the country of 80% workforce engage at informal sectors, and still, there is no proper blueprint to bring them in the mainstream sector. Though the government is focusing more on self-employment to reduce the unemployment as its action says so; but it seems to fail to acknowledge the ground reality that unorganized, low-income, and low-productivity works are exploitation, not self-employment.
More problematic situation
The nation has a history of creating job problems, and it won’t fade away at least for this century no matter how many promises our politicians can make to reduce this within 5-10-25 years during the election campaign. It is expected to have one billion population aged between 15-64 years by 2027 which will be the largest in the world but the opportunities will be less, and the nation is not in a situation to compete with China who becomes the hub of manufacture for the rest of the world. The economic progress can help to move the people from the lower level farming jobs to higher level jobs that are not related to agriculture, but the administration fails to create the infrastructure like China which could prove employment opportunities to the mass. The rise of robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence are at peak and have the chances of making massive layoffs still, can be avoided by upgrading the workforce related to these sectors.
Role of Government
The government is focusing on the large-scale industries whereas for a sustainable growth the priority should be small and medium industries, though big industries are the requirements but impossible to establish at every corner of the nation whereas this is not a case for MSMEs. Developed countries are encouraging MSMEs because of their contribution towards GDP which is approximately 40% and creating more than 50% of the total employment on average. However, the recent union budget gave a hope towards the growth of MSMEs as the government allocated 3794 crore rupees for credit support, capital and interest subsidy and innovation that shows the government is changing its stand towards this sector. It’s not difficult to start and can even run by a single person due to the small investment and less workforce but plays a significant role in contributing the national economy. In a developing country like India, SME contributes 8% of the GDP, 40% of exports, and 45% of total manufacturing output which is significantly lower than European countries but is expected to grow 12% annually with 25% contribution of the total GDP by 2025.
Unemployment is a major problem for every nation, however developing country like India is facing more trouble due to the rising number of job seekers in every year but the focus on improving the skills, and attention towards the MSMEs can solve. Unless the government understands the ground reality, the problem will continue no matter how big the nation's economy and developed advanced technologies.