Jobless Young Indians Make Up 83% of Unemployment Crisis, Says Report from International Labour Organisation

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A recent joint study conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Institute for Human Development (IHD) revealed concerning statistics regarding unemployment in India. 

According to the India Employment Report 2024, released by Chief Economic Adviser V Anantha Nageswaran, India’s youth constituted a staggering 83% of the country’s total unemployed population in 2022. 

The study also highlighted a significant increase in the proportion of educated youth among the unemployed, rising from 54% in 2000 to 66% in 2022. Notably, there were more unemployed educated women (76.7%) than men (62.2%), indicating a concentrated issue among educated youth, particularly in urban areas.

Furthermore, the research showed fluctuating trends in youth employment and underemployment over the years, with a decline during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2000, half of employed youth were self-employed, with 13% in regular jobs and 37% in casual employment. By 2022, these figures shifted to 47% self-employed, 25% in regular jobs, and 28% in casual employment. 

Looking ahead, the study projected an addition of 7-8 million youths to India’s labor force in the next decade.

The report outlined five key policy areas for addressing the unemployment challenge: 

Promoting job creation, 

Enhancing employment quality, 

Addressing labor market inequalities, 

Strengthening skills and active labor market policies, and 

Improving understanding of labor market dynamics and youth employment patterns.

However, Chief Economic Adviser Nageswaran cautioned against the expectation that the government should intervene in every economic and social issue, emphasizing the role of the private sector in job creation.

The report’s findings drew criticism from opposition leaders, with Congress President Malliakrjun Kharge among those questioning the Modi government’s handling of unemployment. Unemployment has become a significant issue for the Congress party, shaping its electoral narrative for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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