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Revamping policies may help tackle worsening jobs crisis: ILO report

Focusing on labor-intensive industries and emphasizing gender and social inclusion might help tide over unemployment challenges, India Employment Report 2024 says

Revamping policies may help tackle worsening jobs crisis: ILO report
[Source photo: shutterstock]

Tailoring macroeconomic, industrial, and trade policies to create more jobs in manufacturing and social services could help address India’s escalating youth unemployment crisis, a report said this week.

The approach will not only bridge the gap between the rising level of education and the scarcity of job opportunities but also ensure sustainable and equitable growth by making employment more inclusive and appealing across sectors, the India Employment Report 2024 said.

By focusing on labor-intensive industries and emphasizing gender and social inclusion, it can transform the current employment challenges into a lever for economic advancement and social equity, the report released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Institute of Human Development (IHD) said.

India’s youth employment challenge has entered a qualitatively new phase with the expansion of education while the growth of aggregate employment opportunities is thinning, the report that was released by V. Anantha Nageswaran, India’s chief economic advisor, said.

“This has led to a sharp increase in youth unemployment, particularly among educated youths. The challenge is much bigger for women and for socio-economically deprived groups among the young and for youths from comparatively low-income regions,” it added

Youth account for about 83% of the unemployed workforce and the share of youngsters with secondary or higher education in the total unemployed youth has almost doubled from 35.2% in 2000 to 65.7% in 2022, the report said.

The study said migration levels in India have not been adequately captured through official surveys, while pointing out that rates of urbanization and migration are expected to considerably increase in the future.

India is expected to have a migration rate of around 40% in 2030 and will have an urban population of around 607 million. The bulk of this increase in urban growth will come from migration, it said.

The pattern of migration also shows regional imbalance in the labor markets. The direction of migration in general is from eastern, north-eastern and central regions to southern, western and northern regions, it added.

The India Employment Report 2024 is the third in the series of regular publications by the IHD on labor and employment issues.

The report is based on an analysis of data from the National Sample Surveys and the Periodic Labour Force Surveys between 2000 and 2022, with a postscript for 2023.

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