Podcast | Where Are the Jobs? Key Takeaways from the NSSO Report

Rahul Gandhi Ravan Priyanka Gandhi Surpanakha

Art Enterprises

The government's failure to release the NSSO report was the latest sign of a complete lack of transparency regarding jobs data, they said. "When the data is ready we will release it", Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, a government policy advisory body, said at a press conference in New Delhi.

Sabnavis said in case the NITI Aayog or the NSSO come up with a different set of data, it would be necessary to let everyone know why the earlier survey was wrong.

The last report published by the statistics ministry had shown that the unemployment rate rose to 5.0 percent in 2015/16 from 4.9 percent in the previous year and 4.0 percent in 2012/13. "My view is that we are creating jobs for new entrants, but we are probably not creating high-quality jobs, people are moving away from low-quality jobs in the agricultural sector, which we need to address", the NITI Aayog chief added.

Thursday's Business Standard report on the NSSO report said overall unemployment was at a 45-year high, with youth between the ages of 15 and 29 facing higher rates of joblessness than others.

The commission's back-series calculation showed that the Indian economy grew at a much faster pace under Manmohan Singh's UPA government compared to Modi's NDA, and that it registered double-digit growth in two years - 10.23 per cent in 2007-08 and 10.78 per cent in 2010-11. In what now looks like a pattern, the report had been approved by the labour minister in December but not released to the public.

The data is significant because this was the first comprehensive assessment of the employment situation conducted after Modi government's November 8, 2016 decision of demonetization, the report said.

After the chaotic launch of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July 2017, hundreds of thousands have lost jobs in small businesses.

The government declined to confirm or deny the report.

The gloomy jobs data could be awkward for PM Modi's government to explain with a general election looming and opinion polls already showing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party unlikely to keep its parliamentary majority. And critics say the government's claims of economic success have sounded increasingly hollow. "After demonetisation, we have seen that the labour force itself has shrunk", he said, adding that urban women, who face an unemployment rate of 27% are worst hit.

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