The Deepening Crisis of Unemployment in India | Employment Reality in 2023-24

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Unemployment in India
Unemployment in India

The Deepening Crisis of Unemployment in India

The problem of unemployment is getting worse every year. Getting permanent employment has become like Sheikhchilli’s dream. Millions of educated degree holder youth in the country are falling prey to depression due to lack of jobs. There are reports of youth suicides every day. Today employment is the most burning issue among the youth of the country. Students studying in universities and colleges, youths preparing for competitive exams in metropolitan cities like Delhi and Kota, even in small towns and villages have only one goal that by any means they get a small government job so that The work of lentils and bread for him and his family continued. You all know this from your own experience that permanent jobs are decreasing year by year. Thousands of applications are made after every job, but only a handful of people get the job. Thus every year lakhs of capable youth are joining the unemployed crowd and they see no other option but to curse their fate.

The tendency to blame oneself due to ignorance of the causes of unemployment is turning them into mental patients in the long run. In the end, when there is no way out, many young people are forced to embrace death. In between, the anger of the people against the rising unemployment also erupts on the road, but due to lack of proper direction, the movements eventually get scattered. The long-standing crisis of employment is also behind the students and youth taking to the streets against the ‘Agneepath Yojana’.

The following figures show the magnitude of unemployment. It can be understood from these figures that the chances of getting a job are negligible. These applicants also included degree holders like PhD, MTech, BTech, MBA while the minimum qualification for most of these posts was 5th or 10th.

According to the latest data from the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the unemployment rate in India has reached around 8 percent in the last week of June, 2022. The central government and state governments are telling these figures wrong, while the real situation is that the unemployment rate is much higher than these figures. More than 45 crore people in the country have now given up their search for work. Labor force participation rate (LFPR) statistics prove this fact correct, according to which the labor force participation rate in India was 46 percent in 2020, while it has come down to 40 percent in the year 2022.

The position of women in terms of employment is even worse. Since the liberalization-privatization policies were implemented in 1990, women’s participation in work has been decreasing steadily. In the year 1990, where the participation of women in the total workforce was 30.3 percent, which came down to 19 percent in the year 2021 and in the year 2022 this number was reduced to only 9 percent.

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Even in the name of recruitment, only lewd jokes are being made with the youth. The entire process of any recruitment takes more than 4-5 years and many times the recruitment gets canceled. Crores of rupees are snatched from unemployed applicants in the name of recruitment. Not only this, almost every recruitment gets caught in the scam. Till a few years ago, it was said about a government job that once you get it, you get happiness for the rest of your life. Even government employees working in Modi government for 10 years are being thrown out of their jobs.

Name of Recruitment Year Total Posts Total Applicants Job Received
percentage of
Railway Recruitment Board 2019 35,281 1,26,30,885 0.28
Peon (UP) 2015 368 23,00,000 0.016
Railway (C&D) 2018 90,000 2,50,00,000 0.36
Class IV (Haryana) 2018 18,412 23,00,000 0.8
Peon (UP) 2018 62 93000 0.066

Unemployment in India
Unemployment in India

Employment opportunities decreasing year after year

In 1991, the Congress government started implementing the policies of liberalization-privatization in a systematic manner. Since then, the sale of public undertakings to the country’s rich people started at throwaway prices, which continues till date and the Modi government is working to carry forward these policies at the speed of bullet train. Due to which the permanent employment opportunities already left are becoming more and less less. In the last few years, in the name of de-industrialisation, the Modi government has sold a large stake of public sector undertakings to the capitalists at a penny price. Due to this also lakhs of government jobs have been reduced.

Instead of making new recruitment on the vacant posts, the Modi government is eliminating those posts. In the last 6 years alone 72,000 posts have been abolished in the railway department and in the coming time about 81,000 posts are going to be reduced further in the railways. Last year itself, the government had decided that thousands of posts lying vacant in the defense for the last 5 years would be abolished. In the same way, thousands of government schools have been closed citing the low number of students, due to which the vacant posts of teachers in these schools have ended.

There has also been a huge reduction in the total jobs at the Center and in the states. There have been 27 percent less permanent recruitment in the center in 2021 as compared to 2020. The same is the case with the states. Here too there have been 21 percent less permanent recruitment in 2021 as compared to 2020. A total of 1.19 lakh permanent recruitments were done in the center in the year 2020, while in the year 2021 this number has come down to 87,423. According to the data, in the year 2017, the central government used to create an average of 11,000 permanent jobs every month, which came down to 7,285 in 2020. The same is the case with the permanent recruitments coming out in the states. On an average every month in the year 2017, the number of 45,208 permanent recruitments in the states has come down to 32,421 in 2020. Recruitment in UPSC and SSC is also decreasing continuously. There were 83,591 recruitments in SSC in the year 2012, which came down to 68,533 in the year 2021. There were 6,863 recruitment in UPSC in the year 2012, which came down to 3,986 in 2021.

Unemployment in India
Unemployment in India

Promoting contract system by eliminating permanent employment

Instead of permanent jobs, contract system is being promoted. According to the data presented in the Lok Sabha by the Ministry of Labor, in the year 2017, 11.11 lakh employees were working on contract in central jobs. This figure increased to 24.31 lakh in the year 2021. The contract system is also being promoted in public sector undertakings. In the year 2016, 2.68 lakh employees were working on contract in PSUs which increased to 4.99 lakh in 2020.

The figures given above are of three major oil and gas PSUs in India, which are telling the reality of declining permanent employment in PSUs. More or less the same is true of other PSUs also. The recruitment of youth on contract in the army for 4 years under the ‘Agneepath scheme’ is the best example of contracting which gives a clear picture of the times to come that permanent jobs will remain negligible in the coming days.

According to a report of the Economic Survey in 2019, 93 percent of the working population in the country works in the unorganized sector. The condition of workers working in the unorganized sector is the worst. The workers working in this sector neither get pension, ESI, PF nor any social security of any kind. Most of the accidents happen in this area. The annual income of the workers working in the unorganized sector is also very less. According to a news published in the ‘Times of India’ newspaper on September 27, 2018, 92 percent of the working male population and 82 percent of the women in our country get a salary of less than Rs.10,000 per month.

The average working hours in almost all the factories in the unorganized sector are 10 to 12. Overtime is not paid at double rate. The principle of ‘equal work, equal pay’ is only on paper. This rule does not apply in any state. There is a provision to give permanent jobs in work of permanent nature, but except in private sector, this law does not apply even in government undertakings. The worst condition in the unorganized sector is that of the farm workers. According to the data presented by ‘Statista’, the number of workforce in agriculture has declined from 52.5 percent to 42.6 percent in the 10 years from 2009 to 2019. The lowest wages are available in this sector.

Public Sector Undertakings Total Employees Contract Employees Contract Employees
percentage of
Indian Oil 1,06,000 73,070 69%
Bharat Petroleum 40,183 28,923 72%
ONGC 28,479 17,657 62%

Unemployment in India
Unemployment in India
The misconceptions spread by the advocates of capitalism about the causes of unemployment

We will come to the real reasons for the steady rise in unemployment later. First let us briefly discuss the misconceptions spread by the advocates of this system. The first misconception these people spread is that population is responsible for unemployment. Their reasoning behind this is that the population is increasing at a faster rate than the resources. If we study the government data from 1950-1951 to 2010-2011, we find that the rate of growth of resources (food production and industrial production) is much higher than the rate of growth of population. The government think-tank NITI Aayog itself had also admitted that till now we have no shortage of resources in comparison to the population. Therefore this argument is baseless.

The second misconception these people spread is that reservation is responsible for unemployment. We have seen from the above statistics that after every job, thousands of forms are filled. Even if reservation is abolished, can the problem of employment be solved? The answer is no. Because when there are no jobs, then getting or not getting reservation does not make much difference.

Thirdly, these people spread the illusion that there is no need of employees in government departments, those who are already working are also superfluous. So why should the government recruit new ones? But it is not so. In response to a question in Parliament, Minister of State for Cabinet Jitendra Prasad himself admitted that a total of 4,20,547 posts are lying vacant in the Center alone. The makers of the National Education Policy 2020 have themselves admitted that more than 10,00,000 posts of teachers are lying vacant at the school level alone. About 70,000 posts are lying vacant in state and central universities. There are 5,49,025 vacancies in the police department alone in various states and union territories. About 5,00,000 posts are lying vacant in government hospitals. Overall, about 24 lakh posts are lying vacant in government departments.

Now the question arises that why the government is not filling these vacant posts? The reason for this is attributed to the lack of money by the government. But is it really so? No way. If this was the case, how did the public sector banks waive off Rs 3,16,000 crore of capitalists in the very first term of the BJP? During his tenure, the NPAs have increased from Rs 2,14,000 crore to Rs 8,98,000 crore. All this money has gone into the pockets of the capitalists. How were thieves like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi allowed to go out of the country even after looting thousands of crores of rupees? And why have you not been caught till date? Where do thousands of crores of rupees come from for erecting advertisements and big statues? The 2019 Lok Sabha election was the second most expensive election in the world. According to the Center for Media Studies, about Rs 60,000 crore was spent on this election.

Unemployment in India
Unemployment in India
Real cause of unemployment

Generally the cause of unemployment lies in the nature of capitalist system itself. The capitalist system needs a reserve army of the unemployed. The capitalist system produces for the sake of profit, not to satisfy social needs. In such a system, every capitalist engages in competition with other capitalists to maximize his profits. For this he wants to minimize his costs, so as to capture the largest share of the market and increase his profits. For this he applies advanced to advanced technology. In a human-centred system, the most advanced technology should be used to liberate humans as much as possible and make their lives more and more beautiful. But in the current capitalist system, technology is like a razor in the hand of a monkey. If capitalist production stagnates or is endangered, the reserve army of the unemployed increases as technology advances. Even if the capitalist system is passing rapidly, the ratio of labor and machines decreases with the introduction of technology, that is, the number of workers per machine decreases, but as capitalist production is expanding, unemployment increases in absolute terms. It is not and sometimes it may decrease. But because of the tactics used by the capitalist system to increase profits, it also gets caught in the whirlpool of crisis at regular intervals. The Reserve Army of the unemployed increases during such visits. But when the capitalist system has a period of rapid growth and expansion of production, then it needs such an army of unemployed, on the basis of which expanded reproduction and capital accumulation can be done. For all these reasons unemployment is essential for the capitalist system. If everyone gets employment, the bargaining power of the capitalists will be zero, while the bargaining power of the working class will increase in absolute terms. Capitalism therefore always maintains a reserve army of the unemployed. This is the common reason why unemployment exists as a common and permanent phenomenon in the capitalist system. Now under this common and basic reason, we understand the employment policy of the government.

The real reason behind not providing employment to the youth is that if the government provides employment to the people, then a part of the budget will have to be allocated for it. If this happens, then the relief package given to the capitalists will have to be reduced. This will reduce the number of unemployed. As a result, the bargaining power of the workers will increase. And the capitalists will be compelled to increase wages. That is, the rate of average wage will increase. In both cases the interests of the capitalists will be hurt.

The economies of the whole world have been in the grip of a severe recession since 2008. In India, the situation has become worse due to anti-people policies like demonetisation, GST and then Kovid. Behind the recession is the crisis of falling rate of profit. This crisis is the result of the natural movement of capitalism. The simple reason for this is the social nature of production and the private nature of ownership. Therefore, in order to maintain the rate of profit especially of the capitalists in the period of recession, the governments are continuously cutting the expenditure on the basic facilities of the people like education, employment, health, housing, electricity etc. Due to which unemployment, inflation, poverty have made life difficult for the people. The job of governments in capitalism is to serve the collective interests of the capitalists, so the problem of unemployment can be solved only after the end of the capitalist system.

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