Unemployment Challenge Of India


Economists classify "Unemployment" into three categories; frictional, cyclical and structural. 


Frictional unemployment is least of economists worry because it occurs due to incessant movement of workforce from one location to another or due to different stages of life cycle or students leaving job to pursue higher studies or woman leave the job for child birth. 


Cyclical unemployment is much more serious problem and it occurs when economy dips into recession. This kind of unemployment macro-economists world over has spent most of the time trying to solve. 


In the increasingly technological age, third type of unemployment occur and that is structural unemployment and this needs much more attention now a days. This kind of unemployment occur when there is a mismatch between available jobs in the market and workers skill. Structural unemployment often results when technological change makes someone's job obsolete. Structural unemployment also occurs when there is a mismatch between location of job openings and location of job seeking workers. 


Now, if we look at the Indian job market, we can find the mix of cyclical and structural unemployment patterns. Though if we mix economics with politics in the discussion, then we may not get the right answer and solution. 


Indian economy has been going through quite a roller coaster ride since economic liberalization in 1992-93. Economic liberalization exposed Indian to new kind of economy and that service sector economy. Everything was going on well but dot-com bust post 2000 gave a big jolt to world economy and India could not remain untouched. Though this dot-com bust was largely concentrated to USA, but when US economy sneezes whole world’s economy catch cold. 


Economy picked up steam once again but 2007-08 subprime crisis of US market again shook the financial and job market world over. Estimated cost of this crisis for this planet earth stood somewhere around USD 15 Trillion and 80 Million job.


Almost every country pumped in billions of dollars into their economy to keep it afloat and drive consumption to drive manufacturing to drive job creation. Before India could recover from the jolt of US Subprime crisis, series of corruption cases against the then incumbent government started surfacing and that led to complete policy paralysis. It, in turn hurt the investment and business scenario very badly. 


In 2014, new government took over with new hope to revive the economy. Business scenario again started looking up but two decisions in quick succession gave a big jolt to the economy running on cash. Now each side can give the opinion for and against these two decisions and both can be right.


Apart from all this, India became the hotbed of technology based economy. By the beginning of this century, we were struggling to get the proper electricity and landline phones even in big cities and by 2004-05 we had cheapest call rates and by 2016, we had the cheapest data rates. 


Before organized retail could even find its foothold, e-commerce changed the market dynamics completely. 


While half of the workforce was still lumbering in the muddy fields, India joined the league of countries adopting technology at super speed. India couldn't have left one and chosen other but challenges posed by mix of both needs to be studied, understood and solved carefully, without playing politics around it. New generation is not illiterate as their earlier generation of 70s or 80s of last century were. Social media and digital world has ensured one thing is that everything mentioned here gets recorded and indexed by one platform or other. So, there will be no escaping for anyone in coming five years time. Division on religion or caste lines won't work because technology will bring more transparency and newer generation will be more educated. So, political rhetorics won't work for long.

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