Financial Services News

Regular jobs increased, but unemployment still a concern: report


The share of workers with regular wage increased since 2004, with the country creating three million regular jobs annually till 2017 and five million jobs between 2017 and 2019, according to “State of Working India 2023: Social Identities and Labour Market Outcomes”, a report prepared by a group of economists and researchers with the Azim Premji University.

The report, released here on Wednesday, however, added that since 2019, the pace of regular wage jobs creation decreased due to economic slowdown and the pandemic. The researchers said only 6% of these jobs provided any kind of social security — including a health insurance or an accidental care insurance. The report was based on the data sourced from National Statistical Organisation’s surveys, census reports and periodic labour force surveys and such government sources.

The number of men working in such regular jobs, where salaries are provided on a fixed date in a month or in one or two weeks, has increased from 18% to 25% over the years and from 10% to 25% in the case of women.

Caste-based segregation

The report said in 2004, over 80% of sons of casual wage workers were themselves in casual employment. “This was the case for both SC/ST workers and other castes. For non-SC/ST castes, this fell from 83% to 53% by 2018 and incidence of better-quality work such as regular salaried jobs increased. It fell for SC/ST castes as well, but to a lesser extent [86% to 76%],” the study said, pointing out towards a decrease in caste-based segregation. “In waste management and sewerage, over-representation of SCs decreased to 1.6 times in 2011 before increasing slightly again,” it pointed out.

The report said gender-based earnings disparities have also reduced in the last 20 years. “In 2004, salaried women workers earned 70% of what men earned. By 2017, the gap had reduced, and women earned 76% of what men did. Since then, the gap has remained constant till 2021-22,” the researchers said.

Post-COVID, the report said the unemployment rate was lower than it was pre-COVID, for all education levels. “But it remains above 15% for graduates and more worryingly it touches a huge 42% for graduates under 25 years,” it said, adding that the rate of women unemployment was rising due to a “distress-led increase in self-employment”. “Before COVID, 50% of women were self-employed. After COVID this rose to 60%. As a result, earnings from self-employment declined in real terms over this period. Even two years after the 2020 lockdown, self-employment earnings were only 85% of what they were in the April-June 2019 quarter,” the report added.


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