New Delhi: Almost 50 lakh people in India lost their jobs between 2016 and 2018 – the post-demonetization years, according to a new report published by Azim Premji University’s Centre for Sustainable Employment. The report highlighted that the “beginning of the decline in jobs” is linked with the government’s decision of demonetization in 2016, however, no direct causal relationship can be established based only on these trends.
The report – titled “State of Working India 2019”, which was on Tuesday in Bengaluru claimed that unemployment in the country has risen steadily since 2011. The overall unemployment rate was pegged at around 6 per cent in 2018 – double of what it was between 2000 and 2011. The data used in the report is from the Consumer Pyramids Survey of the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy.
The report said, “Whether or not this decline was caused by demonetisation, it is definitely a cause for concern and calls for urgent policy intervention,” and further added, “In addition to rising open unemployment among the higher educated, the less educated (and likely, informal) workers have also seen job losses and reduced work opportunities since 2016.”
The report also said women faced higher unemployment rates and lower labour force participation rates.
The report claimed that the last three years have been ones of “great turmoil in the Indian labour market” and in the system of labour statistics.
A leaked NSSO data report, in January, said the unemployment rate during 2017- 2018 was at 6.1 per cent, the highest since 1972-73. In March, IMF senior economist John Bluedorn, had said youth inactivity is the highest in India. Later, former Reserve Bank governor Raghuram Rajan raised doubts about the country’s economy clocking 7 per cent growth at a time when there are not enough jobs created and called for an impartial body to look into the numbers to restore confidence.
However, NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar said the Azim Premji University report was “not verified” and the “veracity of the data is not known”.