Millions of frustrated Indians give up quest for elusive jobs, but Modi govt remains unmoved

According to CMIE data, over 45 cr Indians have simply given up searching for jobs. This figure is half of 90 cr Indians of legal working age, comparable to the total population of the US and Russia

Representative Photo
Representative Photo
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Krishna Jha

According to CMIE data, over 45 crore Indians have simply given up searching for jobs. This figure is half of the 90 crore Indians of legal working age, comparable to the total population of the US and Russia.

We have entered a phase when the history of class-divided society is taking a new turn. One of the driving forces of capitalism is labour, and through labour comes surplus which drives ahead the productive forces in capitalism.

Labour is one of the priorities of economic growth in the modern society.

Surprisingly, the capitalist today is not interested in investing on labour and this indifference towards economic growth deepens the crisis capitalist society has been facing itself.

According to new data from private research organization Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), more than 45 crore Indians have given up their search for a job after being frustrated with the process and failure to secure one. This figure is half of the 90 crore Indians of legal working age, comparable to the total population of the US and Russia.

The data showing the decline of country’s labour force participation indicates that from 445 million it came down to 435 million in six years, from 2016-17 to 2020-2021. Only 40 percent of legal age participants were looking for jobs in the process of industrialisation as labour in 2020-21, while in 2016-17, it was 46 percent of the total legal age workers according to a CMIE survey. This time, pandemic has not been severe, and hence, no need for lockdown has been felt.

According to estimations made on the GDP growth, it showed a sharp contraction in the economic activity of 24 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2020. The common masses had to suffer great tragedies and bear the impact on lives and livelihoods. The effects of crisis that befell the entire population of the country have been slowly getting visible along with the shrinking of the economy. The tragic shrinking process is still unfolding even though the worst phase is over.

At the moment, according to CMIE, in our country there are 1085 million able-bodied persons within the legal working age. They have every right to be employed but are not being able to do so.

Among women, the labour force participation was much lower, in double digits only. It has dipped to 9.5 percent in 2021-2022. In 2016-17, this data was much higher at fifteen percent.

For men, the participation rate dipped from 74 percent to 67 percent.

In the urban regions, the participation rate showed higher decline compared to rural regions. The fall in the urban areas was estimated at 37.5 percent from 44.7 percent, which was a decline of 7 percentage point. The decline rate was estimated in rural areas as 41.4 percent from 46.9 percent.


The rate declined in all the states with the exception of Rajasthan. The dip was much faster in the two states in the south. In the beginning though, they had a much higher participation rate.

The slide was much more pronounced since the rate of participation in beginning was much higher. Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh had high participation rate of 54 percent and 56 percent respectively in March 2016, but there was a sharp decline in the period between 2016 and 2022, as the participation rate fell 20 percentage points for Tamil Nadu and 17 percentage point for Andhra Pradesh.

The data released by CMIE in January 2022 revealed a strange phenomenon. At least 6.6 million people just moved out of the job market. Why? They were too disappointed to even search for a job, because they had realised that there were absolutely no jobs in the market. In fact, they were virtually thrown out of the job market.

The worst came when they were not even getting counted in the system. It was negating even their existence. As a result, the job scene in the country had a face lift. The number of those unemployed got reduced which in turn reduced the unemployment rate.

In January 2022, employment conditions worsened on the ground but unemployment rate declined. It is propagated by the Centre as a great achievement. A fallacy was used while describing the decline in the unemployment rate as a sign of economic recovery to convince the common masses.

In fact, it was brazenly put forward that employment opportunities were on the rise, since the unemployment rate was falling!

(IPA Service)

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Published: 28 Apr 2022, 9:00 PM