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Overview of the current unemployment situation in India

The National Sample Survey Survey shows a drop in unemployment rates for 15-year-olds in metropolitan areas from 8.2% in January to 6.8% in March 2023, suggesting a possible recovery in the employment market.

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 - Definition of unemployment :  Unemployment refers to the state of being without a job, where individuals who are actively seeking employment are unable to find suitable work opportunities. It is a key economic indicator that reflects the number of people within a specific population who are willing and able to work but are currently unemployed.

– Importance of addressing unemployment in India :  The issue of unemployment in India is of great significance due to its impact on the overall economic growth and social stability of the country. High levels of unemployment can lead to various socio-economic problems such as poverty, inequality, and crime. Additionally, addressing unemployment is crucial for ensuring inclusive development and improving the standard of living for all citizens.

Overview of the employment situation in 2022 in India

By 2024–2025, the Indian economy is expected to reach a GDP of USD 5 trillion, and job creation is positively impacted by economic growth. In order to stimulate economic activity, the Budget 2021–22 drastically increased funding for government investment, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the implementation. Strong growth has been further stimulated by Budget 2022–22, where capital expenditures have increased by 35.40% to Rs 7.50 lakh crore from Rs 5.54 lakh crore in the current fiscal year. This expenditure, which represents 2.9% of GDP, will enhance employment conditions in the nation in addition to stimulating economic growth.

The growth of startups, the rise in newly registered businesses, the enrollment of workers in the organized sector, and the employment prospects in emerging industries like AI, cloud computing, data analytics, and automation under IT/ITES are all signs that the government’s persistent efforts to inject capital and boost the country’s economy are beginning to pay off. Additionally, the monthly net addition to EPF subscriptions in 2021 has exceeded the amounts in the comparable months of the year prior to the pandemic in 2019. The demand for MGNREGS work has steadied following the second COVID wave, suggesting that the disruption caused by the pandemic is lessening and that employment opportunities are opening up in other areas.

The Economic Survey noted that employment peaked during the statewide lockdown in 2020. There are more job prospects in India, according to the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) and EPFO payroll statistics. From July to September 2021, the total employment in nine industries was predicted to be 3.10 crore. The welfare of laborers and workers in both the organized and unorganized sectors is a top priority for the government, which is headed by Prime Minister Shri Narendra.

The All-India Quarterly Establishment-based Employment Survey, or AQEES, offers quarterly updates on employment and associated variables of establishments in nine specific sectors, both organized and unorganized, which make up the vast majority of all non-farm establishment employment. The masonry industry accounted for about 39% of all jobs in the sectors we selected, followed by the education sector (22%), the health sector (10%), and the IT/BPO sector (10%). 5.3% and 4.6% of all estimated workers were employed in the trade and transportation industries, respectively. 32.1 percent of workers were women overall, which is more than the 29.3% reported in the QES’s first round. Just 2% of the anticipated workforce in the chosen industries is made up of casual workers, making up 87% of regular workers.

The largest employer is the IT/BPO industry, which is expected to generate 4.47 million direct jobs in FY 2020–2021. For 14 important industrial sectors, India has announced plans to invest Rs. 1.97 lakh crore in production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes, which would commence in FY 2021–2022. Over the course of the next five years and beyond, the programs hope to significantly increase production, employment, and economic growth. The Finance Minister’s statement about the Union Budget 2022–2023 emphasized the positive response to the PLI initiatives, which have the potential to generate 60 lakh jobs and an additional Rs 30 lakh crore of production over the next five years. Key Starting Materials (KSMs), Drug Intermediates (DIs), Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing, Medical Device Manufacturing, Electronic/Technology Products, Pharmaceuticals Drugs, Products Related to Telecom & Networking, Food Products, White Goods (ACs & LED), Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery, Textile Products, Specialty Steel, and Drones and Drone Components are just a few of the industries where PLI schemes have been introduced.

The Union Cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, approved the proposal to offer financial incentives equal to 25% of capital expenditure for the production of goods that make up the supply chain for an electronic product. The incentive outlay of roughly Rs. 3,252 crore and the administrative costs of Rs. 32 crore make up the scheme’s total estimated cost of Rs. 3,285 crore. Road infrastructure, the aviation industry, the start-up environment, and Made in India programs are among the sectors pushing capital expenditure (CAPEX) to increase employment. The aforementioned measures are designed to facilitate corporate operations, foster innovation, establish industry-leading manufacturing infrastructure, empower entrepreneurs, and improve talent development. In India, the number of bank branches has grown dramatically, and this growth is directly correlated with the creation of jobs.

The Aatmanirbhar Bharat Package (ABRY), Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY), Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA), Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), and Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) are just a few of the employment-boosting initiatives that the government has been supporting. October 2020 saw the introduction of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY), which provided employers with incentives for new hires and social security benefits amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Up until November 2021, PMMY offers individuals and micro/small businesses collateral-free loans up to Rs. 10 lakh, with a total sanctioned sum of Rs. 31.28 crore.

A significant credit-linked subsidy program called the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) aims to create self-employment prospects by establishing microenterprises in the non-farm sector. Launched in June 2020, the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA) aims to engage in 125 days of work to increase employment and livelihood prospects for migrant workers returning home and affected individuals living in rural regions. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) is a demand-driven wage employment program that offers households whose adult members volunteer to perform unskilled manual labor at least one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment per financial year.

Since 2016, PMRPY has been in place to encourage firms to hire new employees and integrate undocumented individuals into the formal labor force. With the use of the National Career Service Portal (NCS) initiative, the National Employment Service will be able to offer a range of employment-related services, such as career counseling, job matching, apprenticeships, internships, and vocational coaching. The adoption of cutting-edge technology like automation, robotics, AR/VR, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) is predicted to shape future job roles in important industries.

II. Causes of Unemployment in India

 - Population growth and overpopulation

 II. Causes of Unemployment in India – Population growth and overpopulation have been identified as one of the key factors contributing to unemployment in India. With a rapidly growing population, the job market is unable to keep up with the demand for employment opportunities, resulting in high levels of unemployment. Additionally, overpopulation puts strain on resources and infrastructure, making it even more challenging to create enough jobs for everyone.

– Lack of job opportunities in rural areas  is another significant factor contributing to unemployment in India. Many rural areas lack industries and businesses that can provide employment opportunities, forcing people to migrate to urban areas in search of work. This further exacerbates the problem of unemployment as the job market in cities is already saturated. Additionally, limited access to education and skills training in rural areas hinders the ability of individuals to compete for available jobs, perpetuating the cycle of unemployment.

– Skill mismatch and inadequate education system also contribute to the problem of unemployment in India. Many individuals may not have the necessary skills or qualifications required for the available job opportunities, leading to a mismatch between the skills of the workforce and the demands of the job market. Furthermore, the education system in rural areas may not adequately prepare students for the job market, leaving them at a disadvantage when seeking employment. 

Press Information Bureau. (2022, February 24). Employment Situation in New India. Indicators Back to Pre-Covid Levels but Government Keen on Improving Situation Further, 1 –10(RU-50-01-0059-240222/BACKGROUNDER), 1–10. https://static.pib.gov.in/WriteReadData/specificdocs/documents/2022/feb/doc202222418201.pdf

Questions : Lok Sabha: STARRED QUESTION NO: 305 ANSWERED ON 20.12.2021
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Welfare Schemes for Unorganised Workers:
 PM-SYM – PM-SYM | Ministry of Labour& Employment

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