September 17, 2020
While a section of the nation joyously woke up to celebrate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 70th birthday today, others were busy marking a witter trend. The former chose the microblogging site to praise the PM for his visionary initiatives for the nation, the latter chose to shower their frustrations by marking September 17 as ‘Rashtriya Berojgar Divas’ or the National Unemployment Day.
The trend that went viral within moments of its origin is deciphered to be a mark of protest against the high unemployment rates in the country. Apparently, the trend, on a larger picture highlight’s the Modi Government’s inefficiency in generating jobs and providing employment facilities to the wider unemployed masses.
Using the hashtag #NationlUnemploymentDay, twiterattis condemned the Modi government on the unprecedented high unemployment rate in the country, with an open request to increase job opportunities.
Unemployment: A mirror of the faulty management
Unemployment will be one of the biggest political economy challenges in the forthcoming days in India. With the outburst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government put a strict restriction on various kinds of economic activities while trying to hold the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, in just 40 days, over 69 lakh individuals registered themselves on the government jobs portal launched by the Prime Minister on July 11. Taking the way forward, between August 14 and August 21, more than 7 lakh people got themselves registered for jobs. However, the reality is saddening. Only a meagre percentage of the registered candidates were offered jobs, rest had to return with the tag of ‘unemployed’.
According to the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship on its ASEEM (Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping) portal’s data, a total of 69 lakh migratory workers registered themselves for jobs. Out of which, 1.49 lakh were offered jobs, but only 7,700 joined work. The statistics here show that only 2% of the 3.7 lakh candidates are employed now.
The report stated that it was not just the migrants who applied for jobs. Self-employed tailors, electricians, field-technicians, sewing machine operators and fitters had also registered themselves. The states like Karnataka, Delhi, Haryana, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are on the verge of facing discriminating shortage of workers.
The number of registered people on the portal saw an increase of 11.98% – 61.67 to 69 lakhs in the week ending August 21. As many as 514 companies registered on the portal. Of these 443 have posted 2.92 lakh jobs, and out of this, 1.49 lakh have been offered. The number of active companies on the job portal has marginally gone up to 443 from 419.
The report also stated that under the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan, launched in 116 districts by the Prime Minister in June, only 5.4 per cent of women are looking for jobs.
The logistics, healthcare, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), retail and construction are the top sectors which offered about 73.4% of jobs on the portal site. As far as the supply side of trained/skilled workers is concerned, 42.3 per cent of people registered seeking jobs are from top states—Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Delhi.
COVID-19: Providing aid to unemployment
The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has announced that 18.9 million salaried jobs were lost during the period of April-July. Salaried jobs have been the biggest casualty of the lockdown with a loss of 17.7 million jobs in April, followed by a gain of 3.9 million jobs in June, and then a loss of five million jobs in July.
However, the same period has also proven to be a time of boom for informal and non-salaried jobs. The number of these jobs increased to 325.6 million in July from 317.6 million last year, marking a drastic increase of 2.5%.
“While salaried jobs are not lost easily, once lost they are lost, it becomes far more difficult to retrieve them. Therefore, it becomes a matter of great concern. Salaried jobs were nearly 19 million short of their average in the fiscal year 2019-20. They were 22% lower than their level in the last fiscal year,” stated the CMIE.
Daily wage workers and small traders have been greatly affected by the lockdown since its announcement in March. “Of the 121.5 million jobs lost in the month of April, 91.2 million were informal jobs. This category of employment accounts for about 32% of the total employment, but it suffered 75% of the hit in April,” says the CMIE.
However, unlike salaried jobs that are challenging to recoup once lost, some informal jobs have been quick to return. Of the 91.2 million informal jobs lost in April 2020, 14.4 million came back in May, 44.5 million in June and 22.5 million in July. Only 6.8 million remain to return, the CMIE added.
Written By: Aishwarya Samanta
Image Source: Twitter & Google