The State of Employment in India: A Political Narrative

The State of Employment in India: A Political Narrative

  • 28 Mar, 2019

There is now a greater understanding of the negative effects of inequality and the nature of economic growth that leads to it. Recent research conducted across the world shows that persistent high inequality diminishes long-term economic growth. One way this happens is that inequality reduces the opportunities for education for the poor, which in turn keeps the quality and quantum of human capital suppressed and also curbs technical specialization. Inequality could also impact a poorer individual’s health negatively and diminish productivity and, subsequently, economic growth. The greater focus on inequality, thus, is clear from the shift in the policy discourse to ‘inclusive growth’.

The study of inequality is all the more important in a situation of ‘jobless growth’ in the economy, where even the jobs that are generated are largely in the unorganized sector or informal jobs in the organized sector. The phenomenon is particularly vexing since it paints a misleading picture of economic growth while simultaneously limiting the opportunity for upward socio-economic mobility for large swathes of the population. India is a poor country and one without a safety net. Its millions of citizens have no other alternative than to find work. This is perhaps why India’s unemployment figures remain comparatively lower.

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