By Mayank Jain:Â
“It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man.”- Benjamin Franklin
Respected Prime Minister,
I would like to thank you for your continual efforts to improve the state of Indian politics as well as industry alike in your endeavour to alter our fate and lead us on a better path. The efforts in so many directions can’t go without ensuring that our people don’t sit idle while the government tries to undo the follies of the past and rebuild our present.
The state of employment in our country is a swamp full of pitfalls and dungeons. The misery of an unemployed person who is able and willing to work is best left undescribed here. We have all memorized the rhetoric by heart on Indian population growth and the potential we possess due to our swelling youth population every day but it is important to put it in perspective.
Youth Ki Awaaz, based on data and analyses supplied by “AskHow”, would like to ask a few questions to the leaders and politicians regarding the importance of job creation in the coming years to turn the empty stomachs of youth into earning hands that contribute to our national goals of economic prosperity.
In 2021, that is just 7 years away from now, we will have as much as 859 million people between the ages of 15-60! The number is more than the combined total of people with ages less than 15 or more than 60 and this is bound to put a lot of burden on our depleting resources. The youth population can be a great enabler or the biggest obstacle depending on the course we take from here and I’d like to point out a few things here on the issue.
Why do we need more jobs?
Only 53% of the people are employed in India out of 100 people who are in the employable age and the sad fact is that only 3% are seeking employment. This renders a chunk as large as 43% not even looking for a job when they are unemployed. Contrasting this with our close competitor and neighbour China, they have 71% employment.
Hence, we need to make these people interested in taking up a job and contributing to the welfare of themselves, their family and subsequently of the country because a non-earning asset is always a liability.
How many jobs do we need to create?
As per the results of AskHow analysis, we need as much as 102 million jobs by the end of 2021 to match our usual past and if we aspire to match China’s humongous goals then we will need to create 308 million jobs in the next 7 years and you are at the helm of things for the next 5 years.
Where will the jobs be created?
Most of our potential in agriculture is drying up and if the trends are to go by, we might see a contraction in job creation in agriculture. Business and services also depend on the primary market performance so they cannot be the pivot of job creation but manufacturing and core industry sectors will undergo growth with more employment and also support other sectors.
In the past, our track record of job growth has been abysmal with only 0.12% growth since 2005 and it is more or less a drop in the ocean.
What are the challenges of creating jobs in manufacturing?
Job creation in manufacturing sector implicates the need for investment in labour intensive industries rather than capital intensive industries as well as fast track land clearances for future projects. Ministries of industry, environment and land acquisition departments have to work in sync for the projects to be ready to absorb graduates.
A worker in the formal sector has 10 times the output as compared to a worker in the informal sector. On the contrary, 91 percent of people are involved in the informal sector.
Final word: Creating jobs is an important business that can’t be ignored further and the move to capital intensive industries should be balanced well with labour intensive initiatives so that we don’t end up straying our burgeoning youth population which is eager and willing to work and contribute value.
There needs to be an upliftment of the low productivity sectors higher up the value chain so that every worker contributes proportionate to the efforts he puts in and doesn’t end up being underpaid or undervalued.
Following the fast track model of reforms, wage arbitrage and harnessing the model of entrepreneurial enterprise that we used in IT Services will be a good place to begin.
AskHow India is a group of Indian citizens that aims to raise the quality of debate before the 2014 elections. They believe that a simple way of improving public discussion is to ask the question ‘How’. They think that the citizens should ask political parties how their challenges would be tackled rather than request them to grant their wishes. For example, they think that “How can the next Prime Minister of India lower food prices?” is a superior question to “Can the next Prime Minister of India reduce food prices? Like AskHow India on Facebook here.