NSSO survey: Unemployment among educated, skilled people clocks steep rise in 6-year period

The number of jobless educated people has doubled in the six-year period between 2011-12 and 2017-18, said media reports citing National Sample Survey Office's (NSSO) first periodic labour force survey. The unemployment rate for skilled persons also increased during the same period of time.

The unemployment rate for skilled persons in the country has doubled to 12.4 percent in 2017-18 from 5.9 percent in 2011-12. Literacy rate too showed an upward movement at 76.9 percent in 2017-18 from 74.7 percent in 2011-12. The proportion of people who got vocational or formal training in this period was less, said a report in Business Standard based on the NSSO survey.

NSSO survey: Unemployment among educated, skilled people clocks steep rise in 6-year period

Representational image. Reuters.

The unemployment rate among educated men in urban areas doubled to 9.2 percent in 2017-18 from 4.4 percent in 2011-12. Among their rural counterparts, it increased 10.5 percent  from 3.6 percent in the same period, said the report.

Jobless rate among educated urban women rose to 19.8 percent, almost double their male counterparts, in 2017-18 from 10.3 percent in 2011-12. While the rate touched 17.3 percent from 9.7 percent among their rural peers in the same period.

The country's unemployment rate rose to a 45-year high during 2017-2018, the Business Standard newspaper last month had quoted a government survey as showing, in the latest setback for Prime Minister Narendra Modi just months before a tightening election.

The assessment by the NSSO conducted between July 2017-June 2018, showed the unemployment rate stood at 6.1 percent, the highest since 1972-73, the report said.

The survey has become a political issue after the acting chairman and another member of the body that reviewed the job data resigned saying there was delay in its release.

In a bid to defend the government, Minister for Statistics Sadananda Gowda on 31 January had told the Lok Sabha that the NSSO was still processing quarterly data from July-December 2018 on unemployment. The opposition, on the other hand, attacked the NDA government alleging that it was trying to hide the National Statistical Commission (NSC) survey.

On 31 January, NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar, who had previously mounted a defence of lowering of UPA-era GDP growth rates, said that the report cited by the newspaper "is not finalised. It is a draft report", said a PTI report.

Refusing to comment on the content of the news report, he said the government will release its employment report by March after collating quarter-on-quarter data.

He also debunked claims of jobless growth, saying how can a country grow at an average of 7 per cent without employment.

The involvement of NITI Aayog in NSSO data presentation raised eyebrows too. A range of data releases including labour bureau survey numbers, Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) numbers and ground level indicators also have been pointing out major problems in job generation in the economy.

Days after a government report that indicated four decade-high unemployment rate in FY18, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council  (PMEAC) chief Bibek Debroy early this month had said that new national sample survey on employment would be conducted by the government.

The survey would show that there has been “substantial job creation”, he told PTI. The states are largely responsible for creating “business environment” and jobs, he also told the news agency.

Earlier on 29 January, two independent members of the NSC namely P C Mohanan and J V Meenakshi resigned over disagreement with the government on certain issues.

Mohanan was also the acting chairperson. With the two members quitting, the NSC now has only two members — Chief Statistician Pravin Srivastava and NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.


With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Feb 18, 2019 14:38:28 IST

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