Related Topics

Review of MGNREGA
2023 OCT   31
2023 SEP   21
2023 SEP   6

India Employment Report, 2024

2024 APR 3

Mains   > Economic Development   >   Indian Economy and issues   >   Employment


GS 3 >> Indian Economy and Issues >> Unemployment


Recently, the Institute for Human Development (IHD) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) have released a report titled- ‘India Employment Report 2024’, which highlights that India’s youth continue to grapple with soaring Unemployment rates.



  1. Women saw a rise in self-employment and unpaid family work.
  2. Labour productivity increased consistently alongside technological progress.
  3. Female labour market participation rates increased, especially in rural areas.
  4. There’s a gradual shift from agriculture to non-farm sectors in the workforce, however, the transition slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Youth unemployment increased nearly threefold, from 5.7% in 2000 to 17.5% in 2019
  • Employment growth remained stagnant until 2019, then started to rise
  • Employment is dominated by the informal sector (about 82%). Self-employment and casual employment are predominant
  • Wages have remained low and stagnant or decreased. Modest wage rises for casual labourers were observed, while real wages for regular workers stagnated or declined.
  • India is expected to have a migration rate of around 40% by 2030, with an urban population of about 607 million.
  • Contractualization has risen, with only a small fraction of workers under long-term contracts. The proportion of regular employment increased post-2000 but declined after 2018.
  • Livelihood insecurities are widespread, especially in the non-agricultural organized sector, with limited social protection coverage.
  • Despite India’s youthful workforce being a demographic asset, many lack essential skills, with 75% unable to send emails with attachments, 60% unable to copy and paste files, and 90% unable to use spreadsheets for mathematical formulas.
  • Education: While overall educational levels have risen, gaps remain across social groups, economic backgrounds, and regions. Only a small percentage of youths have formal vocational training, with less than 4% accessing it.


  1. Population Growth: The supply of labor surpasses the available job opportunities, leading to higher unemployment rates.
  2. Lack of Skill Development: There is often a mismatch between the skills possessed by the workforce and the skills demanded by the industries, resulting in high unemployment rates, particularly among the youth.
  3. Slow Industrial Growth: Limited investment in industries can lead to fewer job opportunities, exacerbating the existing situation.
  4. Agricultural Dependence: Overdependence on agriculture, coupled with limited diversification into other sectors, contributes to high unemployment rates.
  5. Technological Advancements: As technology replaces manual labor, certain jobs become obsolete, leaving workers unemployed.
  6. Economic Disparities: Some areas lack adequate infrastructure, industries, and job opportunities, leading to higher unemployment rates in those regions.
  7. Inadequate Education System: The education system in India often struggles to provide practical skills and job-oriented training, leading to a gap between education and employment.
  8. Informal Sector Dominance: A significant portion of employment in India is in the informal sector, which lacks job security, social security benefits, and stable income. Informal sector workers face uncertain employment prospects, contributing to overall unemployment.


  1. Financial Difficulties: This leads to a lack of regular income, making it difficult for individuals to meet their basic needs and sustain a decent standard of living.
  2. Reduced Purchasing Power: It decreases personal purchasing power, as individuals have limited or no income to spend on goods and services.
  3. Social Stigma and Psychological Impact: It can result in social stigma and a sense of social exclusion. Individuals may face criticism, low self-esteem, and psychological stress due to the inability to find work.
  4. Increased Inequality: The lack of job opportunities and income disparities can widen the gap between the rich and the poor, leading to social unrest and dissatisfaction.
  5. Brain Drain: Qualified professionals may seek employment opportunities abroad, causing a loss of skilled workforce and hindering the country’s overall development.
  6. Social Unrest: Frustrations arising from a lack of jobs can manifest in protests, strikes, and demonstrations, demanding better employment opportunities and government intervention.
  7. Economic Burden: The government has to bear the burden of providing social welfare programs, unemployment benefits, and job creation initiatives. Additionally, the loss of productive human capital hampers economic growth and development.


  • Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise (SMILE)
  • PM-DAKSH (Pradhan Mantri Dakshta Aur Kushalta Sampann Hitgrahi)
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
  • Start Up India Scheme
  • Rozgar Mela
  • Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme- Rajasthan.



The report has given the following recommendations to improve the employment scenario of the country:

Make production and growth more employment-intensive
  • Integrate the employment creation agenda with macroeconomic policies.
  • Prioritize labour-intensive manufacturing.
  • Focus on micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.
  • Increase agricultural productivity and promote entrepreneurship.
  • Invest in the green and blue economies.
Improve the quality of jobs
  • Invest in sectors like care and the digital economy.
  • Develop inclusive urbanization and migration policies.
  • Ensure strong labour policies and regulations.
  • Boost women’s participation with quality work policies.
  • Bridge the digital divide.
Overcome labour market inequalities
  • Enhance skills training for social and economic inclusion.
  • Create a non-discriminatory labour market.
  • Implement regional-level policies to reduce inequalities.
  • Strengthen the role of skills development.
  • Facilitate youths’ connection with job opportunities.
Enhance the effectiveness of skills training
  • Address unfilled vacancies in the public sector transparently.
  • Develop reliable labour market statistics on emerging job forms.
Bridge knowledge deficits on labour market patterns
  • Utilize implementation and monitoring data effectively for policy.



Q: Most of the unemployment in India is structural in nature. Examine the methodology adopted to compute unemployment in the country and suggest improvements. (15M,250W)