The Narendra Modi-led government is struggling to keep its promise of adding more jobs, a big reason behind its election victory in 2014, with employment generation in eight sectors slowing to a seven-year low in 2015, government data showed.
Textiles, leather, metals, automobiles, gems and jewellery, transport, information technology and the handloom sectors together created 135,000 jobs during 2015, 67% lower than 421,000 jobs that were added in 2014, the last year of the United Progressive Alliance government.
Worse, during October to December last year, 20,000 people lost jobs in these sectors, partly because of shrinking exports.
Merchandise exports have shrunk for 15 successive months till February as orders continue to dry out from much of Europe.
India has become the world’s fastest growing major economy at 7.6% outpacing China last year, but this expansion may not have created enough jobs to absorb armies of young people who join the work force.
About 12 million people join the jobseekers’ queue in India every year.
According to the labour bureau data, India had added 419,000 jobs in 2013, 321,000 jobs in 2012, 929,000 jobs in
2011, 870,000 in 2010 and 1.28 million in 2009.
The government’s Economic Survey tabled in Parliament in February has also said job creation for millions of Indians who will join the work-force every year over the next decade remains a key concern.
“India’s economy needs to create enough “good jobs” — jobs that are safe and pay well, and encourage firms and workers to improve skills and productivity”, the Economic Survey said.
The labour bureau survey found that 19,000 people lost jobs in the gems and jewellery sector in 2015, followed by followed by handloom/Powerloom at 11,000.
Employment fell by 8,000 each in leather and automobiles sectors while 4,000 people lost their jobs in the transport sector.
IT/BPOs created the highest number of jobs adding 76,000 more employee during the year, followed by textiles (72,000) and metals (37,000).