Central govt’s own survey shows job growth slowed to six-year low

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A survey conducted by Labour Bureau, under the Ministry of Labour and Employment of Narendra Modi government has revealed that new jobs in eight labour-intensive industries fell to a six-year low in the first nine months of 2015.

The Hindu reported that only 1.55 lakh new jobs created in that period compared to over three lakh jobs for the same in 2013 and 2014.

Labour Bureau data revealed that 1.34 lakh jobs were created in July-September 2015 and this was the lowest in the similar quarters since 2009 when the survey was started under the Congress-led UPA government.

In January-March 2015, though the number of jobs increased by 64,000, it declined by 43,000 in the quarter ended June taking the net addition of jobs during 2015 to 1.55 lakh.

Economists have expressed their concerns over the new revelation saying that the government itself wasn’t recruiting people.

Madan Sabnavis, chief economist, Care Ratings told The Hindu, “Our industrial growth has been low and employment takes place only when production is up. There is a lot of rationalisation of staff in the corporate sector and the government itself is not recruiting people. The main idea of growth is to create jobs. Ultimately, we need to create jobs at all levels, which is not happening.”

3.04 lakh new jobs were added in January-September 2014 and 3.36 lakh in the same period of 2013, a Labour Bureau survey showed. There was a sharp decline in hiring of contract labour in 2015.

There was a decline in contractual jobs too as they fell by 21,000 in January-September 2015 against an increase of 1.20 lakh in the corresponding period of 2014. Direct employment too declined by 8,000 in 2015.

The Labour Bureau began conducting the quarterly survey in the global economic meltdown in 2008-09 primarily to measure its impact on employment in eight crucial sectors — textiles, leather, metal, automobiles, gems and jewellery, transport, information technology (IT) and handloom.

Indian Staffing Federation president Rituparna Chakraborty too has expressed surprise at these numbers.

“The staffing industry is going at a healthy 18-20 per cent. The data released by the Labour Bureau doesn’t give a comprehensive landscape of the job growth in the country as it doesn’t capture many sectors,” she was quoted by the paper.

The new revelation assumes significance in light of Modi’s commitment to push job growth in 2015.

In September 2015, while meeting the finance minister, Arun Jaitley, and the Reserve Bank of India Governor, Raghuram Rajan, Modi had  identified job creation as the key priority of his government even as he goaded the private sector to take more risks.

He had also nudged companies to invest in labour-intensive sectors.

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