ON UNEMPLOYMENT

The unprecedented growth of unemployment in the country has acquired the dimension of a serious crisis. The 9th All India conference of DYFI expresses deep concern at the alarming unemployment situation in the country.

This high unemployment, which is a result of 20 years of economic reforms posing a serious threat for the future of millions of Indian youth. While the ruling classes of our country orchestrate the triumphalism of economic reforms, the recent data has undoubtedly proved that the much proclaimed growth story has utterly failed in generating enough employment opportunities for the masses, especially the youth.

The 66th named of National Sample survey organization (NSSO) data shows a dramatic declaration in total employment growth in India. According to the NSSO data it has come down from 2.7% in 2000-05 to alarming low of 0.8% in 2009-10. This underlines the worrisome trend where the growth of employment is lagging behind the rate of growth of population.

The Global Employment Trends 2012, a report by International Labour Organisation (ILO) has pointed out that the decline in employment in the South Asian region was mainly driven by India, where the growth was propelled by increased labour productivity rather than the expansion in employment. This shows that the much hyped growth story was nothing but a job less growth. And now the declaration in the economy poses the danger of jobless growth turning into job loss growth.

The most disturbing factor about unemployment is that the rate was much higher among the youth of 15-29 years category as compared to overall population. The fact revealed by the NSSO data that the youth unemployment among educated persons was higher and it was highest in the category of graduate and above is a matter of grave concern.

The data reveals that there has been a reduction in employment in the organized sector. The total employment in organized sector was 28.2 million in 1998 and it came down to 27.5 million in 2008. Another trend is increasing share of contract workers from 20% 99-2000 to 32% in 2008-09. This points to the fact that there has not only been a failure in generating enough employment but the nature of jobs being created is also very exploitative.

The government which is the main employer in the organized sector has been pursuing recruitment ban, abolition of posts and outsourcing employment opportunities in the government sector have also came down. Both Central and State Governments are responsible for this situation. A data compiled from answers given in parliament shows that more than a million vacancies are lying unfilled in various Central government departments, with the number of unfilled vacancies in the police and defense forces alone amount to over 7 lakh.

Total number of employees in railways have come down from 16 lakhs to 13 lakhs over a period of one decade. The number of vacancies in 'group C' and erstwhile 'group D' postsin railways as on 1st April 2011 was over 2.2 lakh. The case is almost the same with other public sector enterprises. Since the dissolution of Banking Service Recruitment Board (BSRB) there has been a drastic reduction in recruitment in public sector banks. In various central government departments, thousands of vacancies exists even for skilled professionals such as teachers, doctors, scientists, statisticians, economists etc. The drastic reduction of recruitments in government and public sector has led to a loss of opportunities for SCs, STs and OBCs. This has undermined the principle of social justice and policy of reservation.

The aggravated unemployment situation reflects the absurdity of a lopsided and imbalanced growth trajectory guided by neo-liberal reforms. Even when overall output growth has increased, agricultural growth has decelerated and share of agricultural in GDP has fallen to 13% while the share of work force in agriculture is still 52% in 2009-10. We have recently seen alarming decline in industrial growth rate too. Though 60% of the counry's GDP is coming from services this faster growth rate has hardly made any contributions in generating enough employment opportunities.

Both industry and service sectors have failed to absorb the surplus workforce from agriculture. Governments proposed moves like allowing FDI in retail will further worsen unemployment in the country. This deepening crisis of unemployment will lead to adverse socio-economic consequences. The growing disillusionment and anger of unemployed youth can be utilized by communal forces and other disruptive elements. DYFI has to maintain a constant vigil against this danger and must continue to mobilize youth against the policies that propel such high levels of unemployment.

In order to arrest this trend of unprecedented growth of unemployment the neo-liberal policies needs to be reversed. Therefore the 9th All India Conference of DYFI calls upon the youth of our country to intensify resistance against policies that fuel unemployment.

The 9th All India conference raises the following demands for building a board movement against unemployment.

Remove ban on recruitment in various Central and State government departments and PSES.

Stop abolition of vacant posts and fill all vacancies within a prescribed time frame.

Stop, out sourcing of jobs by government departments and public sector enterprises.

Reinstate Banking Service Recruitment Board.

Provide unemployment allowance to registered unemployed, modernize employment exchanges.

Expand the scope of the MGNREGA to all individuals and enhance the cap of 100 days.

Initiate urban employment guarantee scheme at minimum wages.

Enhance financial support for self-employment schemes, SHGs and small enterprises.

Far reaching land reforms and land distribution among land less to reduce massive rural unemployment.

Release employment data along with quarterly GDP estimates.

Even though large number of unemployed do not register themselves at the government employment exchanges, the number of job seekers registered with the 966 employment exchanges across the country stood at a staggering 3.81 crore at the end of 2009, out of which 2.9 crore were educated job seekers and 90 lakh uneducated job seekers. As against the registration of over 62 lakh job seekers in 2011, only 4.7 lakh placements were made through employment exchanges.

Last modified on Thursday, 30 October 2014 11:59
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