Unemployment Current Affairs - 2019
Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link
The International Labour Organisation has released the annual World Employment and Social Outlook Trends for the year 2019. The important features of the report are:
- Unemployment rates were anticipated to fall to 4.9% in 2019 and are expected to hold steady into 2020.
- The number of jobless in real terms is estimated to rise from 172 million to 174 million in that time as the labour market expands.
- The unemployment rate increased from 5 to 5.6% between 2008-9, as the fallout of the near total collapse of major markets took hold.
- The report lamented the fact that it had taken nine years to recover from the shock of the 2007/8 global financial crisis.
- The report presents concerns about the female workforce participation rate. The much lower labour force participation of women at 48%, compared with 75% for men means that around three in five of the 3.5 billion people in the global labour force were men.
- After a period of rapid improvement that lasted until 2003, subsequent progress on closing the gender gap in participation rates had stalled.
- 2 billion of the 3.3 billion people in the global labour market worked in informal employment which put their economic security at risk.
- The poor quality of many jobs also resulted in the fact that in 2018 more than one-quarter of workers in low and middle-income countries were living in extreme or moderate poverty.
- The global unemployment among young people (between 15-24) stood at 11.8 per cent, higher than other age brackets.
- The report notes that in line with a stable aggregate unemployment rate, the outlook for men, women and young people with regard to opportunities on the job market is also very stable and further adds that neither the gender disparities nor the labour market challenges faced by young people are expected to abate in the coming year.
- Youth participation in the labour market had been declining steadily for the last 25 years and one of the main causative factors for this was more young people were entering further education.
The report also notes that around 114 million children aged between 5-14 involved in the global labour market and 73 million of them were working in hazardous conditions, according to data from 2016.
The Prime Minister while addressing the Lok Sabha made the following claims about the creation:
- New jobs were created in the unorganised sector, which accounts for 80-85 per cent employment.
- PM cited an increase in the sale of commercial vehicles, infrastructure building and housing activities as evidence for the claim.
- PM further said that 1.8 crore people had enrolled in the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) in the past 15 months, and 64 per cent of them, who were below the age of 28 were first-time employees.
- PM also cited data showing an increase in the registration of employees under the National Pension Scheme (NPS) from 65 lakh in March 2014 to 1.2 crore till October 2018.
Why the critics claim this argument as flawed?
The critics refuse to buy these data on job creation based on the following grounds:
- Considering the EPF enrolments as a reflector of job creation is not correct as it can be the formalisation of informal jobs.
- Enrolment for the EPF does not necessarily mean that the person has got a job. It is most likely that the person has enrolled for the EPF for the first time though he/she had a job for a long time.
- As per the law, an employer with 20 people or more is required to register with the EPFO. If a firm had 19 employees till yesterday and today 20th person joins in, then all 20 would be enrolled for the first time. Hence what is perceived as 20 jobs created is actually one.
- PM also said that new 6.35 lakh new non-corporate taxpayers such as doctors must have provided jobs in the past four years. Experts call it “incomprehensible” in the absence of the source of the data.
- As per data from CMIE India’s unemployment rate shot up to 7.4 per cent in December 2018 and the number of unemployed increased by a substantial 11 million – the highest in 15 months.
Further critics cite the alleged data from the NSSO survey which is said to be withheld by the government. It is said that the report puts the unemployment rate at 6.1 per cent in 2017-18, post-demonetisation. It is the highest level of unemployment since 1972-73 – the period since when the jobs data is comparable.